law is the body of law which provides the mechanisms for challenging and
regulating government decision making. There are two fundamental elements in
Australian administrative law—judicial review and merits review. Judicial
review is concerned with the legality of administrative decisions, and
is the sole province of the courts. Merits review is concerned with the
substance of a decision and is carried out by various review bodies. Reasons
for decisions lie at the heart of administrative decision-making. A statement
of reasons should provide fairness by enabling decisions to be properly
explained and defended and will assist the person affected by a decision to
decide whether to exercise rights of review or appeal. Australian law does not
yet recognize a general duty to give reasons for administrative decisions.
However, there are legislative provisions which encapsulate an obligation to
provide reasons. It is all part and parcel of procedural fairness—Findings on
Material Questions of Fact; Reference to Evidence on which Findings of Fact are
Based; Dealing with Inadequate Statements of Reasons; Requests for Further and
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