Administrative Law Matters

Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.


Categorical Disagreement: Commission scolaire de Laval v. Syndicat de l’enseignement de la région de Laval, 2016 SCC 8

Even in the good old days when judicial review of administrative action was organized around readily identifiable poles such as “judicial” and “administrative” decisions, lawyers engaged in all manner of “verbal gymnastics” to contort their cases into a more favourable category (SA de Smith, Judicial Review of Administrative Action, 1st ed., 1961). In an administrative […] Read more


Prescribing Surveillance by Law

Tomorrow I am speaking at the first in a series of conferences — En 2 mots / In 2 Words — organized by my colleague Vincent Gautrais. My topic is “Prescribing Surveillance by Law”. Here is the abstract I prepared: The common law of judicial review of administrative action has treated broad discretionary powers in […] Read more


Bias and Statistical Evidence: ALA15 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] FCAFC 30

There is a new decision from the Full Federal Court of Australia on whether and how statistical evidence can be used to demonstrate bias (in particular, prejudgement of relevant issues): ALA15 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] FCAFC 30. Readers will recall that this question has also been raised in Canada (unsuccessfully) and […] Read more


Values, Doctrine and Decisions in Judicial Review of Administrative Action

In his London School of Economics Ph.D. thesis, Dean Knight offers an interesting theoretical perspective on judicial review doctrine. Grouping writers and judges into four broad groups, ranging from those who prefer more formalistic, bounded approaches to those who embrace thorough contextual inquiry, he assesses each group against Lon Fuller’s ‘internal morality of law’. Knight’s […] Read more