University of Technology Sydney

70617 Administrative Law

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 70616c Australian Constitutional Law
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.


In this subject, we consider the various tools that we can use to control government power. The executive government holds a significant degree of power to make decisions which impact the lives and well-being of people and businesses. Administrative law is concerned with regulating those decisions and actions of government.

There are two broad categories of tools that we consider in this subject. First, we consider mechanisms that exist outside the courts which play a role in controlling government power. These include bodies such as tribunals, ombudsmen and integrity commissions.

Secondly, we consider the primary tool used by the courts to control government power: judicial review. Judicial review enables the courts to scrutinise government decisions and conduct to ensure that the exercise of public power remains within legal limits. In cases where limits are exceeded, the courts can issue remedies which reinforce those limits and in some cases offer relief to those affected.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Develop an advanced understanding of how governments lawfully make decisions and an individual’s rights in relation to the exercise of governmental authority.
2. Evaluate and apply the components of, and procedures for, lawful decision-making by government bodies and the administrative and judicial avenues for the review of those decisions.
3. Demonstrate advanced skills in statutory interpretation.
4. Generate reasoned and persuasive arguments appropriate to different forums.
5. Express themselves in a professional manner through conveying succinct, logical and relevant legal analysis.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Legal Knowledge
    A coherent understanding of fundamental areas of legal knowledge including:
    a. The Australian colonial and post-colonial legal system, international and comparative contexts, theoretical and technical knowledge;
    b. The broader contexts within which legal issues arise and the law operates including cultural awareness, social justice and policy;
    c. The impact of Anglo-Australian laws on Indigenous peoples, including their historical origins in the process of colonisation and ongoing impact; and
    d. The principles and values of justice and ethical practices in lawyers’ roles. (LAW.1.1)
  • Critical Analysis and Evaluation
    A capacity to think critically, strategically and creatively, including the ability to:
    a. Identify and articulate legal issues in context, including the skill of critical reading and writing;
    b. Apply reasoning and research to generate appropriate responses;
    c. Engage in critical analysis and make a reasoned choice amongst alternatives; and
    d. Think creatively in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses. (LAW.3.1)
  • Research skills
    Well-developed cognitive and practical skills necessary to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues. (LAW.4.1)
  • Communication
    Effective and appropriate communication skills including:
    a. Highly effective use of the English language to convey legal ideas and views to different and diverse audiences and environments;
    b. An ability to communicate to inform, analyse, report and persuade;
    c. An ability to strategically select an appropriate medium and message;
    d. An ability to assess how messages are received and alter communication strategies accordingly; and
    e. An ability to be responsive and adaptive to the perspectives of collaborators, clients, counter parties and others. (LAW.5.1)
  • Indigenous Professional Capability
    The capacity:
    To work with Indigenous peoples in a professional context;
    a. To respect, recognise and advocate for Indigenous strengths and self-determination;
    b. To acknowledge and respect Indigenous Knowledges;
    c. To understand the impact of colonisation, specifically historical and ongoing racism and the economic impact of dispossession resulting in social and economic exclusion, and
    d. To identify and challenge the deficit narratives and biases of Anglo-Australian laws towards Indigenous Australians. (LAW.7.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Students’ Off-campus Preparation

Students spend time preparing for each lecture and tutorial by reading and by reflecting upon what they have learnt after each class. A reading guide on Canvas sets out the material that they are expected to have read prior to lectures. Lecture slides and recordings are available on Canvas after each lecture.

Strategy 2: Using Off-campus Resources to Keep Learning Current and Relevant

Timely items, such as recent cases or news reports, will be posted on Canvas and discussed in lectures and tutorials so that students develop an understanding of the organic development of Administrative Law in the real world.

Strategy 3: Learning through Engagement in Lectures

Lecturers engage students in learning about challenging principles of Administrative Law. Lectures are recorded and available for student review.

Strategy 4: Analysing Administrative Law in Practice

Students engage in tasks which require them to understand the real world of administrative law practice. This will require students to deploy research skills in the context of statutory interpretation and public policy.

Strategy 5: Learning through Tutorial Discussion

Each week, students will engage in discussions in tutorials, with opportunities to seek immediate feedback from tutors and peers or seek clarification of ongoing learning.

Subject Delivery

Administrative law is delivered by way of lectures, tutorials and online platforms.

Details of lecture and tutorial delivery are specified in the program timetable below and in the Canvas subject site.

Content (topics)

  • Government accountability mechanisms
  • Tribunals
  • Access to information
  • Judicial review of administrative action
  • Judicial review of delegated legislation


Assessment task 1: Written Assignment


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.1, LAW.3.1, LAW.5.1 and LAW.7.1

Weight: 40%

1800 words maximum (excluding references). There is no 10% leeway.

  • Identification of relevant issues
  • Effective legal research skills
  • Understanding of the practical operation of administrative law rules and principles
  • Demonstrated skills in statutory interpretation
  • Persuasive and coherent arguments
  • Use of written expression appropriate for a legal professional
  • Clarity of structure with appropriate headings
  • Referencing in accordance with AGLC4

Assessment task 2: Final Open Book Examination


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.1, LAW.3.1, LAW.4.1 and LAW.5.1

Weight: 45%

2000 words maximum (including references). There is no 10% leeway.

  • Understanding of common law and statutory bases for judicial review
  • Understanding of administrative law rules and principles and their operation in practice
  • Identification of relevant legal issues
  • Application of legal rules
  • Succinct, clear and persuasive written expression

Assessment task 3: Tutorial Engagement


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.1.1, LAW.3.1, LAW.4.1, LAW.5.1 and LAW.7.1

Weight: 15%
  • Preparation for tutorials;
  • Consistency of engagement in weekly tutorial program;
  • Quality of participation in tutorial activities and engagement in collaborative discussions;
  • Pose questions to gain feedback on their developing understanding, throughout session.

Required texts

Robin Creyke, Matthew Groves, John McMillan, Mark Smyth, Control of Government Action: Text, Cases and Commentary (LexisNexis, 6th ed, 2022)