Human rights at the forefront

On 31 October 2018, the Queensland Government introduced new human rights legislation into Parliament. Although not constituting a statutory bill of rights, the Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld) (“the Bill“), if passed, will increase the focus of government, courts and tribunals on internationally recognised civil and political rights,[1] while providing modest new remedies for some […]

Readmore

Procedural fairness not readily ousted

Administrative decision makers are subject to a common law duty to accord procedural fairness for decisions which affect rights, interests and legitimate expectations, unless the governing statute clearly provides otherwise.[1] This is a subset of the broader principle of legality, that courts will not interpret legislation as abrogating or contracting fundamental rights or freedoms unless […]

Readmore

Not all errors are equal

The nature of jurisdictional error has long confounded and confused. Not all errors of law are equal.  Some errors deprive decision makers of authority, others do not. Some errors may be reviewed; the review of others may validly be excluded. There is a distinction of principle between errors characterised as jurisdictional errors and errors characterised […]

Readmore

Two wrongs don’t make a legal right

Equal treatment is a fundamental principle of justice. This is well understood in the abstract, but what it might mean in practice and how it might be enforced is less clear, as is demonstrated by an important recent UK decision[1] that will be monitored closely by Australian lawyers. The case As a result of cartel […]

Readmore

Ethics of Public Sector Decision Making

Governments keep getting bigger. The exercise of their powers is more far-reaching than ever before. As powerful as government may be, there is no such thing in Australia as unlimited official power. Governments can only exercise the powers vested in them. Governments exist only to serve the public interest and the courts will hold them […]

Readmore