Administrative Law Matters

Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.

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An Update on the Blog

You may have noticed in recent weeks that service on the blog has been interrupted. Believe it or not, the OpenUM platform, which hosts dozens of law blogs (including mine), was the subject of a cyberattack. The attackers succeeded in dismantling the platform and the two backups of the material hosted on the platform. They […] Read more

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Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium 2022: Registration Open

Registration is open for the 2022 Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium, “Artificial Administration: Automation, Digitization and Artificial Intelligence in Public Administration“: In the era of Big Data, governments and public entities are turning more and more to automation, digitization and machine learning to operate more effectively and efficiently. The extent of technological change in and […] Read more

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Opening Up Government: Portnov v. Canada (Attorney General), 2021 FCA 171

In Canada, it has historically been very difficult to shed light on the decision-making processes of the highest levels of government. Cabinet decision-making is protected by conventions of confidentiality, public-interest immunity and, at the federal level, the regime under the Canada Evidence Act. Even when constitutional principles, such as judicial independence, are in play, disclosure of cabinet-level […] Read more

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Firming Up Judicial Review of Soft Law? R (A) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2021] UKSC 37 and R (BF (Eritrea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2021] UKSC 38

Policies, guidelines, operational manuals and soft law instruments are pervasive in contemporary public administration. But when can an applicant challenge a soft law instrument as unlawful on the basis of illegality, irrationality or procedural unfairness? The UK Supreme Court considered this issue in detail in two recent decisions, setting out the principles in R (A) v […] Read more

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The Shaky Foundations of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Public/Private Divide: Chartier v Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, 2021 SKQB 142

In a series of recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada has erected a divide between public and private law. First, judicial review of private organizations was restricted in Wall (see here), a restriction subsequently extended to judicial enforcement of private organizations’ constitutive documents in Aga (see here). Second, the appropriateness of judicial review of contractual arrangements was strongly doubted in J.W. (see here). […] Read more

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2022 Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium — Artificial Administration: Automation, Digitization and Artificial Intelligence in Public Administration

The topic of the 2022 Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium will be “Artificial Administration: Automation, Digitization and Artificial Intelligence in Public Administration”: In the era of Big Data, governments and public entities are turning more and more to automation, digitization and machine learning to operate more effectively and efficiently. The extent of technological change in […] Read more

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Delegation, Property Rights and Federalism: Alabama Association of Realtors v Department of Health and Human Services, 594 US ____ (2021)

First under President Trump and then under President Biden the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a nationwide eviction moratorium in the United States of America. Under the Biden Administration’s narrower version, the moratorium prevented landlords from evicting tenants in areas where there are high transmission rates of COVID-19. At various […] Read more