The Reasonableness of Proportionality in the Australian Administrative Law Context

(2015) 43 Federal Law Review 59

32 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Janina Boughey

Janina Boughey

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 22, 2016

Abstract

Although the High Court has never ruled on the issue, the prevailing view has been that unless parliaments enact bills of rights, the principle of proportionality does not and cannot play a role in judicial review of administrative decisions in Australia. Yet in Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Li, a majority of the High Court hinted that this may not be the case. This article analyses the reasons for Australia's longstanding reluctance to embrace proportionality in the administrative law context, and whether the decision in Li has altered this position. It then explores overseas developments in proportionality review which reveal that the principle may take on many forms in the administrative law context, with differing implications for the separation of powers. The article finds that it might be possible to accommodate certain methods of applying proportionality within Australia's judicial review framework, but not without significant broader changes to judicial review of administrative action in Australia.

Keywords: Administrative Law, Proportionality, Reasonableness

Suggested Citation

Boughey, Janina, The Reasonableness of Proportionality in the Australian Administrative Law Context (February 22, 2016). (2015) 43 Federal Law Review 59. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2736620

Janina Boughey (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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