Litigating Questions of Quality

Australian Journal of Administrative Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 76, 2007

13 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 29 Jul 2010

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2007


There are some grounds of judicial review which inherently lead the court to consider questions of the quality of the decision-maker’s decision. The most prominent of these are review for Wednesbury unreasonableness and S20/2002 irrationality or illogicality. These grounds of review require careful application to avoid reviewing the merits of a case. The Australian Retailers case demonstrates another difficulty with quality review – that of what detail should be allowed in the evidence both supporting and rebutting the alleged error of law. This article provides a brief examination of the nature of quality review, followed by an examination of the approach used by Weinberg J in Australian Retailers. The article also suggests a method by which judicial review for issues of quality can serve its intended purpose – to catch rare and absurd decisions – without becoming unduly time-consuming or, worse, degenerating into merits review.

Keywords: Administrative law, judicial review, Wednesbury, unreasonableness, quality

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Weeks, Greg, Litigating Questions of Quality (February 1, 2007). Australian Journal of Administrative Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 76, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Greg Weeks (Contact Author)

ANU Law School ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
6125 5420 (Phone)

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