Australian administrative law is an interesting mix of old and new. Ancient traditions and “old” case law are part of our admin law heritage. Also, the “new” administrative law weaves through our latest cases and current legislation. It is hard to work out what is part of our Australian administrative law, without admin law training.

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Many people in government gain confidence when they can access the right admin law tools for their work. Whether that work is investigating, decision making or policy writing. Regulators, too, become better at finding and using their “teeth”, if they know more about Australian administrative law. And people in business improve in their work too if they know more about the limits on the powers of their regulators.

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What people have been saying

  1. Fiona brings subject matter which can be dense and arcane to life with real world examples and an accessible conversational style. She is able to design a bespoke package of training and pitch it perfectly to an audience with diverse experience and differing levels of familiarity with Administrative Law. Highly recommend.

  2. At 03:25 Mr Rigg talks about regulatory offences not being criminal. I note that a matter under S31(1) of the WHS Act carries potential for up to 5 years imprisonment. I wouldn’t consider that as quasi-criminal.

  3. Dear Mark
    My interpretation of Mr Gipp’s comments is that he was explaining one definition of the term regulatory for the purposes of his discussions in the videos – and making the point that some regulatory offences can be distinguished from some types of crimes. Mr Gipp has been a criminal lawyer for many years, as well as an administrative lawyer. He was a police officer and has done many cases for the police as a barrister. In these videos we were wanting to focus more on admin law than indictable crimes, for example. But we do use some criminal case examples to highlight particular issues of relevance to admin law.
    F McK.

  4. I would suggest that the use of a blacklist or whitelist would potentially breach government purchasing frameworks and policies. If a tenderer breaks the law, the legal system is there to address it. All tenderers who meet the legal and technical requirements of a tender process, should be able to tender equally.

    The practice Mr Gipp describes in working collusively with government agencies to exclude tenders, whether by omission or inclusion, could be seen by some as corrupt behaviour. How is it any different to collusion among tenderers?

    In any investigation, the ends do not justify the means.

  5. Dear Mark. As per your previous comment. I don’t think Mr Gipp is recommending collusion! He is describing what was done by others. F McK.

  6. Public sector agencies have procurement frameworks in place, that are subject to proper transparency and public consultation. This includes preferred contractor and pre-qualification schemes.

    The use of a white list is not an appropriate remedy to a blacklist. A white list, as described in this session, is likely an illegal workaround of procurement frameworks and policies to the extent that it could be seen as corrupt activity.

  7. Dear Mark. Did you think that Ron Gipp was advocating a white list? Or are you just making a comment. I presume the latter.
    F McK.

  8. Fiona’s brief course on key aspects of administrative law was well structured and pitched for the non-lawyer involved in administrative decision-making. Fiona’s explanations were clear and concise, she introduced useful practical examples and she took time to patiently answer all questions. Very useful and enjoyable.

  9. Thanks Ian – I don’t know where the sound went! I can see another person watched the video 4 hours after you and didn’t have a problem. Would you mind checking again or trying on a different device?

  10. Interesting. Is it considered that various sanctions such as improvement and prohibition notices as well as infringement notices ( which are commonly known as compliance and enforcement tools) would they be considered a warning? Or if an Inspector issues these notices if not considered a warning, but a step above the warning, potentially then be determined as being overturned due to the decision of Proudman and Dayman?

  11. Thanks for your comment/question Stephen. I would say that Ron Gipp meant a warning is not the issue of any kind of notice. He meant simply an oral warning. I believe any kind of issue of a statutory notice is a decision of an administrative character under an Act. It must comply with administrative law rules. It must comply with natural justice. It could be turned aside upon review (merits or judicial review). This is covered in more detail in my administrative law course if you end up doing it or have done it! Re Proudman v Dayman – that is more about criminal proceedings – in other words you could issue an infringement notice lawfully even if the recipient of the notice would have said they didn’t believe they were doing anything wrong – even if in a criminal matter there would be an honest and reasonable belief on the part of the ‘accused’. (Of course that general comment doesn’t take account of whether the offence is strict liability ie what mens rea is involved…)

  12. I’d tend to agree with Mark. While this may an interesting anecdote, it is very difficult to work out what the learning outcome is supposed to be. The anecdote seems to be; we had a problem, we come up with a solution, the legal process determined this solution to be improper, so we changed the packaging, called it an all-new product and got away with it. I don’t know what I am supposed to take away from that.

  13. There are a few things coming out of this video. Be careful when you are removing entitlements or legitimate expectations; be careful if you are expressing a conclusion which is speculative and adverse to a person with such rights; be careful about publication of information (such as the leaked black list) which affects reputations of a company or individual.

    Another message, arguably (as I suggest to Ron), it is better to say nothing (eg by not putting someone’s name on an eligible-for-work ‘white list’) than to say something adverse (eg by putting someone’s name on a black list).

    Also, remember that natural justice (procedural fairness) depends on the circumstances (in this case the judge took a view about unfairness which was different from that of the top QC in the State).

  14. Fiona …. the information on mandatory vaccination should be read by every victorian and every victorian should be grateful for you setting it out so clearly and concisely. thanks for speaking so forthrightly on these issues when so many are burying their heads in the sand. there has to be further question about the standing of the state of emergency law because it has been used to violate human rights that are protected in international covenants to which australia is a state party. the federal government has not complied with the prerequisites allowing the abrogation of human rights anywhere in australian territory. nowhere in australia is there now or has there been a situation threatening ‘the life of the nation’ as stipulated in the international covenant on civil and political rights. the commitment australia has made would surely oblige the federal government to ratify what andrews has done or otherwise declare that it has put australia in breach of the covenant. as for mandatory vaccination anywhere in australia there seems to almost no room for manoeuvre. it breaches the ethical obligations of every medical association in the world, as safeguarded, again, in instruments of international law which australia has ratified. the threat that doctors must comply with government policy or face ‘regulatory’ action puts them in an impossible situation if they happen to think that vaccination is not in the best interests of their patients, which is their overriding obligation. it amazes me that the AMA has not spoken out on these issues. i see that daniel andrews is following the pending end of lockdown with the threat to lock out the unvaccinated. this is surely incitement, setting one section of the population (the majority) against the minority but there is no more outrage at this than there has been at any of the premier’s actions in the state over the past 18 months or more. it shocks me that the compliance of the victorian people and the media has reached such a low state. thanks again for your terrific input.

  15. Thank you for the summary – it’s very disturbing to witness a government misleading the people with such alacrity Peter Cain LLB

  16. I think the Andrew’s government are [deleted], they make up rules as they go.and the cho directions that are given are given by people that don’t have the credentials to give such orders. This government and everyone that has gone along with this hoax must be bought to justice and sent to [deleted], and that includes, media, drs, judges and every member of parliament including state and federal… I’m disgusted to be an Australian the way we are being treated

  17. Thanks Lozz for your comments. Just deleted a couple of words – hope you don’t mind….

  18. I would like to thank you for this fantastic information,, as an employer I am struggling with the ever changing mandates,

  19. Thanks Marcus – you are right this doesn’t just affect workers. How are businesses meant to continue after so long in lockdown? How is this economy going to recover if workers are banned from working with such an indiscriminate sledgehammer?

  20. yep, a totally insane, bribed, threatened, corrupt, compromised malfeasance by the current agents of Victoria. They should have been investigated and 22 mths ago before they imposed their illegal directions. Can’t wait til they’re gone and this whole scam is made known.

  21. Could the madates still be enforced in the Education industry after the SOE finishes. It’s all so confusing

  22. Tash I think they will need legislative amendment for vaccines to be mandated after the SOE finishes. I suspect some industries might be able to be covered by legislation, but many will not. I would guess the Education legislation is being looked at, but I am not working on any of that.

  23. You should get legal advice on your employer’s policy. My concern is that many employers think they can lawfully impose mandatory vaccinations when they are not able to do so. If an employer’s mandatory vaccination policy is unlawful, then you may need to look at employment law for your solution (as well as other possibilities).

    Some occupations are more exposed than others. For example, touching 100 aged care residents a day, or a week, is a different job from sitting at a desk. Obviously the risk of transmitting any disease is different for these different occupations. I have mentioned a couple of articles in my blog posts where others are advising on this and the need to take a proper risk-based analysis.

    I am very sad about this. Employers seem to be struggling with what is arguably an unlawful, knee-jerk and temporary reaction on the part of the Chief Health Officer and delegates. It doesn’t mean that employers can legally mandate jabs forever. But I expect employers vary wildly in their ability to get clear legal advice on their legal obligations.

  24. I understand all this but what worries me is all work places including mine have now updated there business policy to include manditory vax and manditory vaxed passports. So if the mandate ends so do the directions. But my work policy is still in place. Can I fight this or am i stuck still needed to be vaxed

  25. The Directions apply to the employers of “workers”. “Workers” are defined by the Directions as people in certain vocations listed by the Directions. Not every worker in Victoria. There are explicit exemptions and everyone else not listed is implicitly exempt, the Directions do not apply to them. Do you agree with this logic?
    My job (IT work) is not listed by the Directions yet my employer issued a vaccine policy demanding our personal sensitive information, refusing to issue work permits, forcing to take leave. No amount of arguing helped, they are hell bent on this. They even admit I am right, this is a quote from their correspondence: “Company maintains that direction to require workers to provide evidence of their vaccination status is lawful and reasonable, irrespective of whether Company workers fall within the ambit of the Mandatory Vaccination (Worker) Directions or not. “
    What can be done? I have complained to the company Privacy Officer and the ethics board, but they will simply take weeks to tell me to bugger off.
    I fully expect this to be extended or rather re-issued today and then again until 15th of December.

  26. Impulse buyer please see my other reply to “Tash” on the site today. I think you should get some legal advice. A company might maintain that their actions are lawful and reasonable, but your legal adviser might tell you otherwise. A lawyer can tell you what actions you may take. Good luck!

  27. Hi, a very informative article indeed, maybe we should all study law a little more closely, then may be we would challenge those in power more readily.
    I’m not anti vaccination, but do understand why some people are. I am 65 and was not given a vaccine choice when I had my first Astrazenica shot, a week after I had my first injection, the government moved the goal posts yet again, and allowed the over 60’s to have the choice of 3 vaccines. The state Labour government and many if it’s public service businesses, have become experts at bluffing members of the public, and I have heard that the government is looking to have the current legislation amended, no doubt to ensure they retain unprecedented power of choice over the people. My understanding of politics is that the Andrews government will have to get support from the coalition and independents, perhaps only the independents, as Victorians have seen with the current state of play regarding the state of emergency. It will be interesting to see, if that support to enable the smooth passage of legislative change will be forthcoming this time round.

  28. Thank you for these clear explanations of illegal rules Andrew enforced on us. I’m hoping this is going to save my job without forcing vaccine, Thank you so much, Ane Sofele ×××.

  29. Thanks for explaining. I’m still a bit confused. Q. Was it made law? – after the 8th Oct – that all the other 140 types of businesses and employees must insist on vaccination?
    I figure it’s still unlawful. Please correct me if I’m wrong. If it happens to me in my employment (Qld) I will go straight to the Human Rights Commission and lodge a complaint, and I won’t quit the job (they’ll have to fire me), and I won’t consent to taking the jab.

  30. L Thomas please read all my posts on this topic. It is changing every week. Regarding Queensland that will have a different legal arrangement. Every State has its own arrangement for legislative schemes on the vaccine issue. The lawfulness of any temporary directions will depend on the details of each case.

  31. great work and brave for stating the truth.
    please look into the underlying control of the Masonic lodge in every town in Australia, and expose their (deleted) agenda.

  32. Thank you for the information it’s excellent !!
    Much appreciated as the directives keep changing everyday and it leaves us all confused !!
    The law is on our side, but not enough people know it and therefore have not fought hard enough to just say NO !! The mandate has been pushed onto business to enforce onto their employees!! It’s so wrong !! The employers are so scared of the fines , fines that will be thrown out in court because they are unlawful!! It’s just a complete corrupt govt disaster and the average hard working Aussie is paying the price by either being forced to get jabbed by coercion or lose their job !! It’s totally outrageous!!

  33. Hi,
    Thank you for these articles they are very informative to layperson such as myself. Will you be discussing these issues in regard to WA? I find there is so much information and legal explanations focusing on Victoria, however, it would be great to know if the same legal advice applies to WA or if it is different here? I am struggling to find information on when the SoE can even end in WA

  34. Hi – it takes a very long time to analyse all the issues, and I have only scratched the surface for Vic. I may not have time in the immediate future to analyse the other States. If you have a State of Emergency then the process may be similar. Maybe there is a legal or rights centre in WA that has some information (although most legal groups do not seem to be saying much about this issue as I see it.)

  35. I think that parliament in Victoria, is a dead concept. We no longer have a properly functioning system of government.
    Andrews is totally out of control and needs to be removed. He has acted against basic human rights over and above anything that could have been construed as required in a so called pandemic.
    He has also acted unconstitutionally against our federal laws and rights.
    He has forced people to take part in an experimental field trial of a provisionally approved medical gene therapy procedure.

    Any one of these should have been enough to condemn the man and his cronies to a severe investigation and immediate stand down.!
    That he hasn’t been only shows just how broken our system is.

    The governor needs to step in before he is the cause of something far more serious than just protests, although I am beginning to wonder if that is what he really wants!

    What actions does he need to declare some sort of martial law, suspending parliament and locking us all down under these new draconian powers.

    I am seeing so many similarities between Hitlers rise to power in the 30’s and the process that is occurring now, albeit a little more modernised.

  36. A very good reminder of knowing the legislation (statute) your operating under and use policies as “guides” only. If in doubt go back and read the statute.

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