King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 3

Open slather to review planning and other ACT government decisions?

The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Amendment Bill 2013 primarily seeks to eliminate the requirement that only a ‘person aggrieved’ by a government decision (including a DA approval or call in) can seek review of that decision by a court. In doing so, the bill seeks to broaden the number and categories of persons able to seek judicial review of an approval or other government decision. The bill also authorises the court to allow interveners (almost anyone it appears) to join in the proceedings.

The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1989 (ADJR Act) like similar laws in other jurisdictions allows a “person aggrieved” by a decision under an enactment by the ACT government to seek review of that decision by the ACT Supreme Court.

While the ADJR Act does not allow the Court to decide whether the decision is the preferable one (ie merits review undertaken by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal), it does allow a Court to review the decision making process and make a finding whether or not the decision was properly made according to the law…

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