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Administrative law

Administrative law is the body of law that regulates government decision making. Access to review of government decisions is a key component of access to justice.

The Australian Government works to improve the quality of access to justice for individuals by adopting:

  • best practice in administrative decision making
  • effective review and accountability mechanisms.

The federal administrative law system

Administrative law offers accountability mechanisms that apply to government decision making about individual matters.

Accountability mechanisms include:

The Australian Government Administrative Law Policy Guide helps policy makers understand and identify administrative law issues in draft legislation or proposals.

The Attorney-General's role

The Attorney-General has policy responsibility for administrative law. This includes oversight of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and legislative instruments.

The Attorney-General's approval must be sought for amendments to Acts for which they have responsibility, particularly the following:

The Legislative Instruments Act 2003 provides for the making, registration, publication, parliamentary scrutiny and sunsetting of Commonwealth delegated legislation.

The Administrative Review Council keeps the Commonwealth administrative law system under review and monitors developments in administrative law. It is established under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

The council's publications are useful reference documents on administrative decision making and review processes.

More information

Government agencies can seek specific advice on decision-making structures, review of decisions and legislative instruments by emailing AdminLaw@ag.gov.au or calling 02 6141 6666.