LAWPUBL 401 - Administrative Law

Credit points: 20 points
Offered: First Semester
Contact hours: Lectures - 4 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Hanna Wilberg
Prerequisites: LAW 201, 211, 231, 241
Restriction: LAWPUBL 426

Course description

This course concerns the law governing decision-making in the public administration.  There is a wide range of particular administrative regimes governing areas such as immigration, social welfare, resource management and competition matters.  In this course, we will focus on the general principles of judicial review of administrative action that apply across all of these regimes, but we will pay attention to the particular regimes as providing the context for these principles.  We will also explore the range of grievance resolution processes beyond judicial review, and evaluate these through an administrative justice lens.  In relation to judicial review, the course goes beyond addressing the principles themselves.  It will also introduce you to the theoretical and political underpinnings of judicial review, and the debates surrounding the appropriate scope of judicial review.

Content outline

This course will address the following:

  • the traditional grounds of judicial review: procedural impropriety, illegality, irrationality;
  • the nature and availability of judicial review remedies;
  • debates about the availability of judicial review (the public nature and justiciability tests);
  • debates about the proper scope of substantive merits review;
  • the theoretical and political underpinnings of judicial review that inform the above debates;
  • the range of grievance resolution processes beyond judicial review;
  • an administrative justice assessment of the full range of grievance resolution processes.


There will be a final take-home examination, and probably a compulsory short piece of writing during the semester – details tba.