Summer Session 2017-18 lec > subject pages > administrative law

Administrative law is a branch of public law that is concerned with the legal control of decisions and actions of governmental agencies and officials, and those of non-governmental bodies which affect the public.

In Australia today, governmental and non-governmental regulation - at federal, state and local government levels - impinges on most areas of life.  Notable examples include social security, education, immigration, broadcasting and television, public sector employment, industry and commerce, exploration and mining, ownership and use of property, occupational licensing, town planning and the environment.

The emphasis of the course is on the principles and procedures of administrative law relating to the review of such governmental and non-governmental administrative action.

At state and local government levels, these principles and procedures are to be found mainly in the common law of judicial review.  This includes the grounds of judicial review - denial of natural justice, ultra vires, jurisdictional error and error of law - and the judicial remedies - prohibition, certiorari, mandamus, injunction and declaration.  Administrative review is by the Ombudsman and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.  Freedom of Information legislation has also been enacted.

At federal level, a comprehensive system of review is provided by statute.  This involves judicial review by the Federal Court of Australia and administrative review by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  Freedom of information legislation has also been enacted.

The fundamental objective of the course is to give students an understanding of the various principles and procedures and their practical application.

This will be achieved primarily by means of an analysis of the relevant decided cases, legislation, and academic writings.


Lecture and weekend school timetables, prescribed materials, and assignment information are in the Subject Guide. Assignments and Supplementary Materials (where applicable) can be accessed by current students from the Webcampus.









Law Extension Committee
The University of Sydney
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This page last updated on 18 September 2017


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