Planning and Soft Law

(2017) 24 Australian Journal of Administrative Law, Forthcoming

21 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2017

See all articles by Greg Weeks

Greg Weeks

ANU Law School

Linda M. Pearson

University of New South Wales

Date Written: October 26, 2017


Complex regulatory systems are particularly in need of regulation capable of maintaining both high standards and consistency in decision-making. Soft law is frequently the mechanism of choice to achieve these ends, since it can be made and altered with relative ease but is nonetheless treated as though it were hard and enforceable ‘law’. The law around environmental planning decisions, although subject to detailed legislative control, makes extensive and predominantly effective use of soft law. However, the use of soft law always carries some risk and this is generally imposed asymmetrically upon individuals rather than public bodies. This article will consider these issues, taking account of several relevant cases.

Keywords: Planning Law, Soft Law, Administrative Law, Environmental Law

JEL Classification: K23, K32

Suggested Citation

Weeks, Greg and Pearson, Linda M., Planning and Soft Law (October 26, 2017). (2017) 24 Australian Journal of Administrative Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Greg Weeks (Contact Author)

ANU Law School ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
6125 5420 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://

Linda M. Pearson

University of New South Wales ( email )

High St
Sydney NSW 2052

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