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LAW2221 Administrative Law

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Administrative Law
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 090900 - Law
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Simon Young


Pre-requisite: LAW2211 or (LAW3201 and LAW3461)

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Administrative law is a compulsory course in all law schools in Australia. It is one of the fundamental areas of legal knowledge to be acquired for admission to the legal profession. Study in this field focusses primarily on the principles and procedures by which the executive government is challenged and supervised, and its prominent place in the legal curriculum is a reflection of the critically important role played by government in many fields of individual and corporate activity.


Government agencies and officials constantly make decisions that affect us. Administrative law is the body of law that defines the responsibilities of these decision-makers (ensuring amongst other things that correct processes are followed and powers not exceeded), and provides avenues of challenge for aggrieved persons and bodies.

Administrative law is the second major component of domestic `public law' (the law governing the exercise of public power). Whilst constitutional law focuses principally on the validity of legislation, administrative law generally assumes legislative validity and focuses on the validity and appropriateness of executive action taken under legislation (or under other powers) - especially insofar as that action affects the rights and interests of individuals.

The course first examines the principles and processes of `judicial review' including the `grounds' upon which such proceedings may be brought (and relevant issues of statutory interpretation), who may bring them, and what remedies may be obtained. The course then turns to the non-judicial components of contemporary administrative law: `merits review', ombudsman investigation and freedom of information.


On successful completion of this course students should have:

  1. broad and coherent knowledge of:
    1. the place of administrative law in contemporary Australian legal systems (with reference to historical, social and political context)
    2. the underlying principles, theories and values of Australian administrative law
    3. the alternative avenues of judicial review in Australia and the principles governing these processes
    4. the range of Commonwealth and State statutory regimes that govern key processes of merits review, ombudsman investigation and access to government information
  2. an ability to recognise and reflect upon the manner in which administrative law obligations might manifest themselves in various governmental contexts, and the manner in which underlying ethical and moral issues might present themselves to practitioners in the field
  3. a strengthening ability to comprehend and interpret legal materials, apply legal knowledge and reasoning to specific issues, and apply critical and creative analysis and intellectual initiative to alternative or contested legal positions
  4. a capacity to apply intellectual and practical skills to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues in the field of administrative law – including an ability to effectively locate and use key resources for finding, updating and interpreting delegated legislation
  5. a strengthening ability to communicate (particularly in written exercises) opinions, conclusions, critical assessments and advice in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive
  6. an ability to plan and learn independently, to reflect on progress, and to work in a manner that is effective and sustainable.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to administrative law 8.00
2. Grounds of judicial review: natural justice 12.00
3. Grounds of judicial review: miscellaneous errors in power and procedure 20.00
4. Grounds of judicial review: jurisdictional error 8.00
5. Judicial review systems 8.00
6. Remedies 8.00
7. Standing 8.00
8. Merits review 12.00
9. The ombudsman and the ‘integrity sector’ 10.00
10. Freedom of information. 6.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Creyke, R, Groves M, Smyth M & McMillan, J 2019, Control of government action: text, cases and commentary, 5th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (or later edition).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Aronson M, Groves, M & Weeks, G 2017, Judicial review of administrative action and government liability, 6th edn, Thomson Reuters, Sydney, New South Wales (or later edition).
Bannister J, McDonald S & Olijnyk, A 2018, Government accountability: Australian administrative law, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria (or later edition).
Groves, M & Weeks G 2019, Administrative redress in and out of the courts, The Federation Press, Annandale, New South Wales.
Groves, M (ed.) 2014, Modern administrative law in Australia: concepts and context, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria.
Lane, WB & Young, S 2007, Administrative law in Australia, Thomson Reuters, Sydney, New South Wales (or later edition).

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 75.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
COURSE ENGAGEMENT 10 10 16 Jul 2019 (see note 1)
ONLINE TEST 10 10 05 Aug 2019
ASSIGNMENT 20 20 09 Sep 2019
EXAMINATION 60 60 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. Students will be advised, at the commencement of semester, regarding course engagement.
  2. This is an open examination. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This will be an open examination. Candidates may have access to any printed or written material during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Students studying this course as part of a Law degree must use the latest edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian.