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Administrative LawText and Materials

Administrative Law: Text and Materials (5th edn)

Mark Elliott and Jason N. E. Varuhas
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date: 24 June 2024

p. 235 7. Abuse of Discretion Ilocked

p. 235 7. Abuse of Discretion Ilocked

  • Mark ElliottMark ElliottProfessor of Public Law, University of Cambridge
  •  and Jason VaruhasJason VaruhasAssociate Professor, University of Melbourne


This chapter examines principles of administrative law which seek to prevent abuse of discretion. It first considers the notion that there is no such thing as an unfettered discretion before discussing two key principles that encourage a mode of administration which is faithful to the legislative scheme set out by Parliament: those which require decision-makers to act only on the basis of factors which are legally relevant, and those which dictate that statutory powers may be used only for the purposes for which they were created. It also explores the propriety of purpose doctrine and the relevancy doctrine, citing a number of relevant cases such as Padfield v. Minister of Agrictulture, Fisheries and Food [1968] AC 997.

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