Last updated 20 January 2017

click to download a pdf of this chapterReview of State Government Action
What Government Actions may be Challenged
Who can Make a Complaint about Government Actions
Time Limits for Complaints against Government Actions
Obtaining Reasons for a Government Action
Grounds for Review of Government Actions
Privative Clauses to Protect Government Actions from Review
Remedies for Judicial Review of Government Actions

The grounds on which courts will review administrative actions have been developed under the common law over hundreds of years. The introduction of statutory forms of review at both Commonwealth (Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)) and state (Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld)) levels has simplified the otherwise technical common law requirements. Many decisions made under these Acts have expanded the principles and applied them to new situations. This chapter only gives a general outline of the law relating to judicial review. The advice of a lawyer experienced in this area should be sought if legal proceedings against government are contemplated.

Judicial review is concerned with two basic issues:

  • the existence of power to do an act or make a decision
  • whether the power has been lawfully exercised.

The second issue is usually considered to have two aspects. First, there is the question of whether the power was exercised in accordance with the substantive limitations imposed upon it. The second question is whether the power was exercised in accordance with the appropriate procedural requirements and according to accepted standards of administrative decision making.