Mapping the Rainbow of Review: Recognising Variable Intensity
New Zealand Law Review, pp. 393-431, 2010
27 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011 Last revised: 7 Apr 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2010
This article explores Professor Taggart's "rainbow of review", a metaphor which seeks to capture the different intensity applied by courts when reviewing the administrative decisions of public bodies, office-holders and officials. The primary purpose of this article is to demonstrate the widespread application of variable intensity in New Zealand administrative law, both in its overt and covert forms. This article also builds on the contextualism-deference couplet mentioned by Professor Taggart - the idea that a commitment to the importance of context must also involve the application of deference (or variability) in judicial supervision. The secondary purpose of the article is to examine the attitudes of local jurists, scholars and practitioners to the contextualism-variability couplet. A strong commitment to the first arm of the couplet is evident, but there are greatly varying attitudes to the latter arm. The article aims to build a foundation for the future examination of the ideal mechanism to capture and calibrate variable intensity.
Keywords: Administrative law, judicial review, variable intensity, judicial deference and restraint, judicial vigilance
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation