14.19 In some circumstances ‘urgent action’ to prevent a greater harm may be said to justify limits on procedural fairness. For example, a prison warden may place a prisoner in isolation without notice if they suspect the prisoner is planning a riot. In other circumstances, it might be justified to isolate people in quarantine, to avoid the spread of infectious diseases.
14.20 There may also be circumstances where an area of law or policy is overly complex and would be better served by the application of an exhaustive legislative code, rather than common law procedural fairness. While this will be rare, it can arise in planning law where decisions may be overly difficult and involve a range of interested parties.
14.21 Bills of rights allow for limits on most rights, but the limits must generally be reasonable, prescribed by law, and ‘demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society’.
14.22 Although some laws that deny or limit procedural fairness may be justified, the ALRC invites submissions identifying laws that are not justified, and explaining why these laws are not justified.
Wilcox J referred to cases of ‘urgency’ which may legitimate the suspension of procedural fairness in Marine Hull and Liability Insurance Co Ltd v Hurford (1985) 10 FCR 234, 421.
Matthew Groves argues that ‘courts have generally been reluctant to exclude all elements of natural justice’: Groves, above n 1, 305.
See for example, McEvoy v Lobban  2 Qd R 235.
R v Davey  2 QB 301, 305–6.
For more on this issue, see Alexandra O’Mara, ‘Procedural Fairness and Public Participation in Planning’ (2004) 62 Environmental and Planning Law Journal.
Canada Act 1982 c 11, Sch B Pt 1 (’Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’) s 1. See also, Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic) s 7; Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) s 28; Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZ) s 5.