South Australian Administrative Law: 40 Years On

Judith Bannister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is often instructive to pause and look back at a little history to understand how contemporary law functions. This special issue for volume 40, issue one of the Adelaide Law Review offers an excellent opportunity to do that for administrative law. The Adelaide Law Review was established in 1960, but it was not until the 1970s that administrative law featured within its pages. In 1977 Michael Harris, then Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Adelaide, surveyed recent developments in South Australian administrative law in an article in volume 6. The 1970s was an important time for administrative law in Australia, and in 1977 the ‘revolution’ that came to be known as the ‘new administrative law’ was underway, at least at a Commonwealth level. The 1970s were also a decade of major social and legal change in South Australia, but with the exception of the appointment of the first Ombudsman, administrative law reform would be a much slower process in this State. Despite some early recommendations by the Law Reform Committee of South Australia, judicial review of administrative action in South Australia did not follow the codification project commenced by the Commonwealth. With some procedural modifications, South Australia has preserved its common law foundations. The State offers an interesting vantage point from which to observe the waxing and waning ofthe influence of statutory udicial review in other jurisdictions, the codification of grounds and the resurgence of jurisdictional error
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-329
Number of pages19
JournalAdelaide Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Administrative law
  • South Australia
  • legal change
  • social change
  • history of law


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