Last updated 20 May 2022

Judicial review existed both in the common (court-made) law and the Australian Constitution prior to the commencement of the Commonwealth Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) (Administrative Decisions Act). The Administrative Decisions Act, the first of its kind in Australia, simplified the common law grounds and processes for judicial review.

Grounds for statutory review under the Administrative Decisions Act include where:

  • the rules of natural justice were breached
  • procedures required by law were not observed
  • the decision maker lacked jurisdiction to make the decision
  • the decision involved an error of law
  • making the decision was an improper exercise of power, including because there was a failure to take relevant considerations into account, irrelevant considerations were taken into account or the exercise of power constituted an abuse of power (s 5 Administrative Decisions Act).

Judicial review still also exists at common law and in the Australian Constitution. Those grounds for review are not examined in this chapter. Most judicial review these days occurs under a statutory regime.

The Federal Court of Australia and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have jurisdiction to review decisions under the Administrative Decisions Act.

This chapter will focus on review of state government action under the Queensland Judicial Review Act, which is modeled on the Commonwealth Act.