LAW 2504 - Administrative Law
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019
General Course Information
Course Code LAW 2504 Course Administrative Law Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Law (LLB) Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites LAW 1504 Incompatible LAW 2002 Restrictions Available to LLB students only Course Description The 4 main aims of the course are: 1) to teach the basic principles that govern review of administrative action by courts and tribunals; 2) to provide a critical analysis of that system; 3) to teach students to apply those principles in complex factual situations; 4) to teach students to interpret statutes while problem solving. A particular focus is placed upon judicial review, including its fundamental concepts of jurisdiction, ultra vires, and procedural fairness. The course will also cover review 'on the merits' by administrative tribunals. The practical significance of the course in substantive areas such as freedom of information and planning regulation is emphasised.
Topics include: State and Commonwealth avenues of review; the distinction between judicial review and review 'on the merits'; error of law and error of fact; justiciability and standing; procedural fairness; ultra vires and abuse of discretion; jurisdictional error, privative clauses and judicial review remedies.
Course Coordinator: Dr Judith Bannister
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Analyse the advanced principles of administrative law, undertake self-directed legal research at an intermediate level, and evaluate complex legal information, with a particular emphasis upon legislation.
- Apply administrative law principles to complex legal problems and critique the operation of administrative law from a theoretical perspective, through individual work.
- Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written arguments for a legal audience in the field of administrative law.
- Conduct legal research and analyse government decision making.
- Analyse the impact and operation of administrative law from policy perspectives and identify and explain government accountability for the exercise of public power.
- Reflect on their abilities to effectively undertake work as an administrative decision maker, or to challenge administrative decisions.
* Common law and statutory avenues of judicial review at Commonwealth and State level
* Grounds of judicial review
* Administrative Appeals Tribunal
* Statutory Review
* Freedom of Information
Note the following topics will be covered by students in the subjects Principles of Public Law and Constitutional law:
Topic 1: Organisation and Structure of the Administration; Topic 2: Administrative Law Theory; Topic 6: Crown Immunity.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
2 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
3 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
4 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
5 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Required ResourcesJudith Bannister, Gabrielle Appleby and Anna Olijnyk, Government Accountability; Australian Administrative Law (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Please note: although this text book may be available for purchase as an e-book, you will not be permitted to take an e-book into the
examination in this course.
You will be expected to be familiar with the details of relevant legislation, in particular the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth); Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth); Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth); South Australian Civil and Adminsitrative Tribunal Act 2013 (SA); Freedom of Inforamtion Act 1982 (Cth); and Freedom of Inforamtion Act 1992 (SA). You can access these statutes free via the Law Library web page.
Lecture and Seminar Readings and Seminar Questions will be available from the Image and Copy Centre (for a charge) and posted on MyUni (free of charge).
Recommended ResourcesThe leading text in Administrative Law is Mark Aronson and Matthew Groves, Judicial Review of Administrative Action, (Thomson Reuters, 6th ed, 2017). This is an excellent work and, although it does not cover the entire course, it usefully supplements the prescribed materials with a more detailed theoretical treatment of the complexities of judicial review. Students are well advised to consult this text throughout the year.
We encourage you to explore for yourself the large and growing administrative law literature. Two Australian journals particularly devoted to administrative law are the Public Law Review and the Australian Journal of Administrative Law, though generalist journals such as the Federal Law Review frequently contain relevant articles. The United Kingdom journal Public Law is also valuable. There are also many relevant collections of essays and government reports, which are in the library. Particular mention should be made of the publications of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law (AIAL). This organization publishes the AIAL Forum 3-4 times annually, containing a range of articles on administrative law issues. The AIAL also holds an annual national administrative law conference, the proceedings of which it also publishes.
Online LearningMyUni will be used to post announcements, post additional lecture materials (including slides) and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Information, Lecture and Seminar Guides, and Course Materials and a Question and Answer forum.
Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
Course Website: https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/webapps/login/
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLectures supported by problem-solving seminars developing material covered in lectures. Technology permitting, all lectures except week 12 (which is a student directed Q&A session) will be recorded and posted on MyUni. Recording of seminars is not permitted because students should be free to participate without concerns about being recorded.
Seminars are a critical component of your learning in this course. The communication skills developed in seminars by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies. Most importantly, if you choose not to attend seminars, you will miss out on a good deal of the course material.
This course will also have a virtual lecture option. If you enrol in the virtual lecture, you will be able to access all lectures week by week via MyUni.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.Contact time: attend 2 hours lectures plus 1 hour seminar each week. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time across the semester.
Preparation time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments. The University expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.
Learning Activities Summary
Schedule Week Lectures Seminars Week 1 Introduction to Administrative Law
- Administrative decision-making powers and discretions
- Providing reasons
- Freedom of Information
- Statutory Interpretation
Seminar No 1
Administrative decision making - make a FOI decision and give your reasons
Week 2 Merits Review
- Commonwealth and
- South Australia
Seminar No 2
Freedom of information
Week 3 Findings of law and fact
Statutory reviews on questions of law
Seminar No 3
South Australian Merits review
Week 4 Introduction to Judicial review
- Common Law and AD(JR) Act
- Jurisdictional error
Seminar No 4
Statutory reviews on questions of law
Statutory interpretation to determine jurisdiction
Week 5 Grounds of judicial review
Hearing rule and bias
Seminar No 5
How to approach a judicial review problem
Introduction to judicial review
Week 6 Grounds of judicial review
Acting beyond the scope of a power
Seminar No 6
Grounds of review –
Week 7 Grounds of judicial review
Improper exercise of power
Seminar No 7
Various grounds of review
Week 8 Consequences of unlawful action
Seminar No 8
Various grounds of review
MID-SEMESTER BREAK Week 9 Delegated Legislation Seminar No 9
Consequences of unlawful action
Week 10 Jurisdictional error revisited
Privative and no-invalidity clauses
Seminar No 10
Week 11 Assignment feedback / exam revision Seminar No 11
Revision - exam preparation
Week 12 Student directed Q&A (note this will not be recorded) Seminar No 12
Revision - exam preparation
Specific Course RequirementsThere are no additional requirements for completion of this course other than described elsewhere in this document.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Task Type % of final mark Due Dates Length Redeemable Learning Outcomes Online statutory interpretation quiz Individual 5% 2pm Tuesday, 1 October 2019 10 questions NO 1 Interim Statutory interpretation and freedom of information problem exercise Individual 40% 2pm Monday, 26th August 2019 2500 words Yes 1, 4, 5, 6 Exam Individual 55% (or 95%) Exam Period Semester 2 1.5 hours + 10 minutes reading time NO 2, 3,6
Assessment Detail1. Online quiz 5%
10 question online quiz on statutory interpretation. Compulsory and NOT redeemable. Students who fail to submit will receive 0 for this component.
2. Interim statutory interpretation and freedom of information problem exercise 40%
This assessment is redeemable but MUST be submitted. Students must achieve at least 40%, or a bona fide effort as assessed by the course coordinator, for the assessment to be redeemable.
3. Final Exam 55% (or 95% if interim assessment is redeemed).
There will be a 1.5 hour exam (with an additional 10 minutes reading time). The examination will consist of compulsory problem style questions covering the judicial review and merits review sections of the course.
SubmissionInterim Problem Exercise:
The assignment must be submitted in electronic form through Turnitin on MyUni.
Students must retain a copy of the assignment submitted.
All references must be appropriately cited in order to acknowledge sources, and avoid plagiarism.Students should ensure that when citing material they comply with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
Late Submission Penalties
When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend and public holidays. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.
Word Length Penalties
5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, but exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliography or list of sources is excluded from the word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Finality of Assessment Grades
Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).
ModerationIn accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
- assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
- detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
- sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
- reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
- comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
- automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
- the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.
Approval of Results by Board of ExaminersStudents are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.
Lex Salus ProgramLex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.
Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.
Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.
Student Life Counselling SupportThe University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Academic HonestyAcademic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.
Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.
Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.
The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.