Laws that deny procedural fairness

15.37   A wide range of Commonwealth laws may be seen to deny the duty to afford procedural fairness, broadly conceived, to persons affected by the exercise of public power.[48] Some of these laws impose limits on procedural fairness that have long been recognised by the common law, for example, imposing an obligation on courts to ‘act judicially’.[49] While the concept of procedural fairness has developed significantly, these traditional limits are crucial to understanding the scope of the freedom, and possible justifications for new restrictions.

15.38   The Terms of Reference for this Inquiry asked the ALRC to include consideration of Commonwealth laws in commercial and corporate regulation, environmental regulation and workplace relations law that deny procedural fairness to persons affected by the exercise of public power. This chapter will examine some of these laws that arise in the following areas:

  • corporate and commercial regulation;

  • migration law; and

  • national security legislation.