What is administrative law?
Administrative law has been described as the set of legal principles that governs the relationship between the government and the governed.
In Australia, the exercise of powers by Governments and their departments must be based on legal authority.
That legal authority is usually contained in:
- statutes (laws passed by Parliament); or
- regulations made by regulatory authorities.
These laws and regulations can give regulatory authorities the power to make decisions that affect your rights.
Administrative law disputes arise when you disagree with a decision by a regulatory authority and wish to challenge it.
If the decision adversely affects your livelihood or the existence of your business, you will usually want to apply to have the decision formally reviewed in the relevant Court or tribunal.
Strict time limits usually apply for lodging your application. If a time limit is not met, the decision will stand. You may then be forever barred from having the decision reviewed.
Example 1 – Regulated Professions
- You might work, or want to work, in a regulated occupation, such as:
- medical practitioner
- other health professional
- real estate sales
- motor car sales
If the regulatory authority decides to refuse your application to work in that occupation or to cancel your existing registration, you cannot work in that occupation while the decision stands.
Example 2 – Licences and Approvals
You need the appropriate licence or approval to carry certain businesses, such as:
- gaming venue
- liquor sales outlet
- taxi-cab operator
- registered training organisation
If a regulatory authority refuses your application or cancels your existing licence, you cannot legally carry on business.
How Slater and Gordon can help
The laws applied by regulatory authorities can be complex and far reaching.
Our administrative law lawyers can help by:
- providing you with expert advice on how to protect your rights and preserve your interests.
- assist by dealing with the regulatory authority on your behalf to attempt to address its concerns
- “show cause”. Often a regulatory authority is required to give notice of its intention to make a decision. You may be given an opportunity to “show cause” why the decision should not be made
- having decisions reviewed in a Court or tribunal
- advising whether a decision is reviewable and how to have it reviewed
- negotiating with the regulatory authority to have the decision changed
- making detailed legal submissions to the regulatory authority as to why a decision is wrong
- making a formal application in the relevant Court or tribunal to have the decision reviewed
Our administrative law lawyers are experienced in reaching negotiated outcomes in review proceedings.