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Introduction to Administrative Law

The term procedural fairness simply means that the equality in the procedures accompanied while reaching at an executive pronouncement. It is acknowledged as a standard which is essential to the management of integrity and an individual can apply a plea and get a pronouncement inverted in regards to the procedural fairness was not perceived. The precedent-based law perceives an obligation to accord an individual procedural fairness a term frequently utilized reciprocally with natural justice when a pronouncement is made that influences an individual's privileges, interests or authentic desires. Courts may understand a statutory provision as suggesting that a force be practiced as to procedural fairness where a party’s interests may be unfavorably influenced by the activity of that power. The essay will consider the obligation to determine the duty of procedural reasonableness in authoritative pronouncement making. The essay will cover the relevant case laws as well as the vital legislation. Furthermore, the essay will talk about the source and method of reasoning for procedural reasonableness; how it is safeguarded from legal infringement; and when laws that reject procedural fairness might be defended.

Procedural Fairness

In Plaintiff M61/2010 v Commonwealth, the full bench of the High Court clarified the extent of the precedent-based law obligation to afford procedural reasonableness to people influenced by the activity of public power it was said in Annetts v McCann[1], that it would now be able to be taken as settled that when a statue gives influence to demolish, annihilation or bias an individual's privileges, interests or real desires, standards of natural justice which usually direct the activity of that influence[2]. In Kioa v West, various perspectives were communicated about whether the necessities of procedural fairness emerge from the custom-based law or rather rely on drawing a ramifications from the enactment which presents power to choose. It is pointless to deliberate in the case of recognizing the foundation of the commitment stays an open inquiry or whether the contending perspectives would prompt any unique outcome[3]. It is well settled, as held in Annetts, that the standards of procedural fairness might be avoided distinctly by 'plain expressions of important intendment.' In Kioa v West it has been said that it is a principal rule of the custom-based law doctrine of natural justice communicated in customary terms that, as a rule, when anorder is made which will deny an individual of some privilege or intrigue or the legal desire for an advantage, he is qualified to know about the case which pursued to be made against him and to be given a chance of answering to it.

In additional, in S10/2011 v Minister for Immigration, the High Court held that the standard and assumptions of statutory development mirror the associations of the three parts of government, and till they are not constitutionally imbedded[4].They are the segment of the precedent-based law of Australia one may express that the 'precedent-based law' as a rule will infer, as an issue of statutory interpretation , a situation that a power provided by the statute upon the official branch be practiced with procedural fairness to those whose interests might be unfavorably influenced by the activity of that power. On the off chance that the issue be comprehended in that manner, a discussion whether procedural reasonableness is to be distinguished as a customary law obligation or as a ramifications from state continues upon a untruthful polarity and which is useless[5].

Procedural fairness identifies to the way where a choice is made, as opposed to the thinking behind the pronouncement. Issues of procedural reasonableness emerge with regards to regulatory pronouncement making, that is, decisions made by government divisions and authorities and courts. Such choices may influence individuals in a scope of framework, including where:

  • Decisions may reduce an individual's freedom;
  • Affect their opportunity of development;
  • Damage their notoriety; or
  • Have a huge impact on their monetary prosperity[6].

The Law Council of Australia clarified that procedural fairness will advance better pronouncement making in government in light of the fact that the leader will have before the person in question all the significant data required. The procedural consistency required in an enquiry and the directive to act fair-mindedly is probably going to settle on a leader increasingly reliable and objective in arriving at their decisions[7]. One of the key highlights of procedural reasonableness is that 'in foundation it is a custom-based law doctrine or commitment the necessities of natural justice are formed by courts, and are read into or connected to legal powers in order to guarantee procedural fairness in the organization of statutes. While procedural reasonableness is ensured at precedent-based law, rule additionally gives some assurance to people. For example, a breach of the principles of natural justice is a ground for judicial review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth). This Act does not force an obligation to afford procedural reasonableness[8].

Procedural fairness as a rule includes two necessities: the reasonable hearing guideline and the standard against predisposition. The hearing rule requires a pronouncement maker to illuminate an individual regarding the argument against them, give them a chance to be heard, and earlier notification of a choice that antagonistically influences their inclinations. In Commissioner of Police v Tanos, the judges expressed that it is a profound established rule of the law that before anybody can be penalized or biased in his individual or property by a legal or semi legal proceeding he should be managed a satisfactory chance to be heard[9]. The substance of the hearing rule according to procedural fairness fluctuates over the range of managerial pronouncement making, contingent upon the conditions of a specific case. Considering this requirement, the less required for a reasonable hearing in authoritative law includes the accompanying:

  • notice that a choice unfavorably influencing an individual's interests will be made;
  • disclosure of proof depended on while deciding the antagonistic choice;
  • a considerable hearing oral or composed with a sensible chance to introduce a case in light of an antagonistic choice; and
  • in a few conditions, access to lawful portrayal[10].

An obligation to manage the cost of procedural reasonableness might be barred by enactment. This involves legal development, the key inquiry being whether enactment, 'appropriately interpreted, restricts or stifles the commitment to accord natural justice'[11]. Professors like Mark Aronson and Matthew Groves have proposed that courts progressively interpret enactment in order to suggest that an obligation to bear the cost of procedural fairnessoccurs, especially since the announcement by the High Court in Saeed v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Saeed) that procedural reasonableness is ensured by the rule of legitimateness. This has made authoritative avoidance 'it is very hard to practice'. Courts have discovered that an obligation to bear the cost of procedural fairness might be impliedly avoided where it would be conflicting with the appropriate procedure of the pertinent statutory provisions[12].

Express statutory provisions that set out procedural necessities to be followed in making of a pronouncement may not build up with the imperative clearness an aim to bar natural justice. According to Professor Groves it has been seen that the 'weight of the most latest cases recommends that the courts are extremely hesitant to acknowledge that an authoritative code is comprehensive and in this manner proposed to bar the ramifications of further custom-based law hearing rights'. This might be the situation even where the provisions are portrayed as a 'procedural code'. In Saeed, the High Court acknowledged that arrangements expressing that techniques contained in the Migration Act were 'comprehensive' proclamations of the natural justice hearing standard were efficient to avoid the ramifications of natural justice, yet just according to the issues to which the provisions alluded.

Obligations Required

There is no fixed substance to the obligation to manage the cost of procedural reasonableness. The reasonableness of the procedure relies upon the nature of the materials in issue, and what might a rational chances’ befor parties to introduce their cases in the applicable conditions. The judge like Mason J expressed in Kioa v West that 'the expression "procedural fairness" passes on the idea of an adaptable commitment to receive reasonable techniques which are adequate and adjusted to the conditions of the specific case'[13]. In Re Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs; Ex parte Lam, the judge Gleeson CJ highlighted that fairness is not a theoretical idea' and that the ‘apprehension of the law is to stay away from reasonable treachery'. The judges Aronson and Groves have noticed that the eagerness with respect to the courts to suggest an obligation to bear the cost of procedural reasonableness, and hesitance to find that it has been avoided by law, has implied that the critical inquiry will as a rule be the substance of procedural fairness as opposed to whether the obligation occurs[14].

Procedural fairness customarily includes two prerequisites: the reasonable hearing guideline and the standard against inclination. The consultation rule requires a chief to bear the cost of an individual a chance to be heard before settling on a choice influencing their inclinations. In Kioa v West, Gibbs CJ said that the 'key principle is that a legal authority having capacity to influence the privileges of an individual will undoubtedly hear him before practicing the force'. The standard against predisposition guarantees that the pronouncement maker can be equitably viewed as fair-minded and not to have pre-passed judgment on a choice. The substance of the standard against inclination is adaptable, and controlled by reference to the principles of the speculative spectator who is reasonable and educated regarding the conditions[15].

The corresponding of issues to consider out what fairness needs in a specific case may have the outcome that the substance of procedural reasonableness is significantly decreased. This might be the situation, for instance, where concerns identified with national security emerge. In Leghaei v Director- General of Security, the Supreme Court determined the obligation to bear the procedural fairness in the establishment of an ‘adverse security assessment’ by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)[16]. Adverse security assessment are pertinent to organizational pronouncements in relation to the visa status. In Leghaei, the receipt of an antagonistic security appraisal brought about the crossing out of the offended party's residency visa. The essential adjudicator found that there occurred 'an obligation to manage the cost of such level of procedural fairness really taking shape of an antagonistic security evaluation as the conditions could bear, steady with an absence of preference to national security[17]'. In any case, after believing the equalization to be struck amid the open enthusiasm for national security and an obligation to reveal the basic issues on which a regulatory choice is probably going to turn, the essential appointed authority held that the substance of procedural reasonableness was 'diminished, in down to earth terms, to nothingness'. Then again, it might be that, where a choice 'would have particularly genuine outcomes upon an individual influenced, the hearing rule would require comprehensive procedural necessities'.

The Australian Constitution does not preventlegal infringement upon the obligation to manage the cost of procedural reasonableness in managerial pronouncement making. It does not keep Parliament from changing, by clear language, the principles of natural justice in their application to non-legal judgements under Commonwealth law[18]. In any case, as noted above, refusal of procedural fairness in the activity of a legal force, where the obligation to perceive it has not been legitimately constrained or smothered by rule, it will bring about a choice made in overabundance of purview and entice the issue of prevention under section 75(v) of the Constitution[19].

Principle of Legality

The standard of legitimacy gives some assurance from legal infringement upon the obligation to watch procedural fairness. When deciphering a rule, courts will assume that Parliament did not mean to avoid procedural fairness, except if this aim was made explicitly clear. The High Court has expressed that rejection of the standards of natural justice can just happen by 'plain expressions of essential intendment'[20]. In Saeed, the High Court said that the 'assumption that it is exceptionally doubtful that Parliament would takeover essential standards or leave from the common arrangement of law, deprived of communicating its goal with overwhelming lucidity, gets from the rule of legitimateness'. Global instruments cannot be utilized to 'abrogate vibrant and substantial provisions of Australian national law'. Nonetheless, where a rule is questionable, courts will commonly favour a development that concurs with Australia's universal commitments[21].

International Law

Article 14.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) gives that all people ought to be 'equivalent under the observant eye of the courts and councils' and that, 'in the declaration of any criminal accusation against him, or of his privileges and commitments in a suit at law, everybody will be competent for a reasonable and formal proceeding by an fortified, independent and unbiased council built up by law'[22]. Some have contended that no support exists for barring procedural reasonableness, given the extension that exists for adaptability in its substance. For instance, the Administrative Review Council has said that that 'procedural reasonableness ought to be a component in government dynamic in all specific situations, tolerating that what is reasonable will differ with the conditions'.


A few partners supported the selection of a proportionality test to decide whether a law that bars procedural fairness is defended. The UNSW Law Society contended that applying a proportionality test to laws that prohibit procedural fairness would include evaluating whether the laws are:

  • for all intents and purposes appropriate for accomplishing a authentic strategy objective;
  • vital, as in there are no substitute methods for seeking after that aim that are fewer hostile to procedural reasonableness, yet are similarly feasible and as liable to prosper; and
  • adequate, in that the injury brought about by encroaching on procedural fairness must not surpass the common advantage of the enactment. Enactment is especially liable to be wrong when it adversely influences the basic substance of the privilege[23].


It might be supported to reject procedural reasonableness where earnest choices should be made to prohibit aninsistent or grave detriment. Nonetheless, a differentiation has been drawn amid a legal force which is, by its tendency, conflicting with a commitment to bear the cost of procedural reasonableness, and a force that may in some cases should be practiced in critical circumstances. A case of the previous may remember a capacity to persuasively enter premises for instance of fire or natural disaster. In the last case, it may not be defended to legally prohibit procedural reasonableness[24]. Rather, it might be progressively fitting that procedural reasonableness be rejected just where direness is set up, or that the substance of procedural fairness be restricted in earnest conditions. A related support that is here and there made for barring procedural reasonableness is the need to decrease delay by smoothing out regulatory procedures. Notwithstanding, some have contended that the motive of rapid pronouncement making ought not to legitimize a refusal of procedural fairness. For instance, the ANU Migration Law Program contended, with regards to migration law, that 'the disintegration of procedural reasonableness commitments ought not be advocated based on effectiveness or convenience in pronouncement making'[25].

Laws that Prohibit Procedural Reasonableness

Corporate and Commercial Regulation

Procedural reasonableness is barred in arrangements of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) featured some of these, however noticed that these arrangements are the special case as opposed to the standard. ASIC presented that it might be fitting in certain conditions to restrain procedural fairness to 'forestall budgetary misfortune or to secure the honesty of money related markets'[26]. Provisions of the Corporations Act that are intended to forestall monetary misfortune brought about by misrepresentation or ill-advised budgetary administration contain confinements on procedural fairness to meet this approach objective. Section 739 enables ASIC to give amid time 'stop requests' forbidding proposals of security where a divulgence record or related hearing where ASIC considers any postponement in making the request would be biased to the open intrigue. The Law Council of Australia (Law Council) considered section 739 to be supported, contending that it was an 'authentic transitory measure', and that there exists a 'public interest for practicing such a crisis power in keeping away from budgetary misfortune brought about by misrepresentation or inappropriate administration[27]'.

Under the Migration Law

Pronouncements to Reject to Permit or To Terminate a Visa

A visa may, or in certain conditions, must, be dropped or not allowed if the visa holder does not fulfill the Minister that they pass a 'character test'. An individual does not clear through the character assessment if, in addition to other things, the individual has a 'considerable' criminal record; has been indicted for specific offenses; or is sensibly associated with being an individual from, or having a relationship with, a gathering or association engaged with criminal lead[28].

Fast Track Review Procedure

In 2014, the Migration Act was altered to make a new ‘fast track' review process for pronouncements to decline protection visas to certain candidates, including 'unapproved maritime entrances' who entered Australia amid recommended times. Those candidates are portrayed in the Act as ‘fast track review candidates'. A few partners contended this new procedure subjectively and unjustifiably prohibits procedural reasonableness from assurance visa application forms for those subject to it[29].

Conclusion on Administrative Law

In the conclusion it must be contended that any option to get to legitimate portrayal will rely upon whether an oral or composed hearing is given. At custom-based law, an individual is qualified for be spoken to by an operator, or legal advisor, in an oral hearing before a legal body. Regardless of whether lawful portrayal must be given to an individual whose rights, interests or authentic desires are antagonistically influenced in managerial dynamic will rely upon the engaging Act of the suitable legal body. In some of the cases the lawful portrayal may not be prerequisite and may even be in opposition to the casual or interrogative setting of a council. The inclination rule of procedural fairness necessitates that a leader must not be one-sided or be comprehended by an educated eyewitness to be one-sided in any capacity caught or apparent predisposition.

Bibliography for Administrative Law


Groves, M. 2018. Substantive legitimate expectations in Australian administrative law. Melb. UL Rev., 32, pp.470.

Jang, S. and Eger III, R.J. 2019. The effects of state delinquent tax collection outsourcing on administrative effectiveness, efficiency, and procedural fairness. The American Review of Public Administration, 49(2), pp.236-251.

Pittard, M.J. 2017. The triumph of practical fairness over legitimate expectation in Australian administrative law. SAcLJ, 29, p.856.

Robertson, J.A. 2016. Natural justice or procedural fairness. Australian Journal of Administrative Law, 23(3), pp.155-163.

Young, D. and Zimmermann, N. 2016. Procedural fairness in administrative decision-making. Precedent (Sydney, NSW), (136), p.18.


Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)

Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)


Annetts v McCann

Commissioner of Police v Tanos

Kioa v West

Plaintiff M61/2010 v Commonwealth

S10/2011 v Minister for Immigration

Saeed v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

[1]Annetts v McCann

[2]Plaintiff M61/2010 v Commonwealth

[3]Kioa v West

[4]S10/2011 v Minister for Immigration

[8]Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)

[9]Commissioner of Police v Tanos

[12]Saeed v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

[14] Supra Note 1

[16]Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

[19] Section 75(v) of the Constitution

[22]Article 14.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

[26] Section 739 of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)

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