Chevron Abroad

56 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2020 Last revised: 17 Dec 2020

See all articles by Kent H. Barnett

Kent H. Barnett

University of Georgia School of Law

Lindsey Vinson

University of Georgia, School of Law

Date Written: February 26, 2020


This Article presents our comparative findings of how courts in five other countries review
agency statutory interpretation. These comparisons permit us to understand and participate
better in current debates about the increasingly controversial Chevron doctrine in American
law, whereby courts defer to reasonable agency interpretations of statutes that an agency administers. Those debates concern, among other things, Chevron’s purported inevitability, functioning, and normative propriety. Our inquiry into judicial review in Germany, Italy, the United
Kingdom, Canada, and Australia provides useful and unexpected findings. Chevron, contrary
to some scholars’ views, is not inevitable because only one of these countries has something
analogous to Chevron. Indeed, one country has expressly rejected Chevron in dicta. Nevertheless,
all but one or two of the countries (depending how one counts) have at least some limited
space for deference to agency statutory interpretations. We do not call for American law to wholesale adopt any particular country’s form of judicial review. But our comparative study provides
useful suggestions for improving Chevron’s overall functioning and for better grounding it on
its theoretical foundations.

Keywords: judicial review, administrative law, Chevron deference, comparative law

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Kent Harris and Vinson, Lindsey, Chevron Abroad (February 26, 2020). 96 Notre Dame Law Review 621 (2020), University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-08, Dean Rusk International Center Research Paper No. 2020-02, Available at SSRN: or

Kent Harris Barnett (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States

Lindsey Vinson

University of Georgia, School of Law ( email )

Athens, GA
United States

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