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Law Notes Public Law Notes

Judicial Review Of Administrative Action Notes

Updated Judicial Review Of Administrative Action Notes

Public Law Notes

Public Law

Approximately 55 pages

This course was taken with Professor Michelle Flaherty at the University of Ottawa. It is a mandatory first year course for J.D. students....

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  • The essence of this review is that we’re looking for accountability, constitutional protection, oversight, ensure fairness and preventing arbitrariness

  • There is a whole spectrum of judicial review associated with executive action – there are cases where you want to intervene more because the matters deal with serious issues, whereas there are others where you might not want to do so

  • Too much judicial involvement may take the way the finality of executive action

  • Judicial review is about achieving efficiency and a balance in terms with executive action

  • Judicial review should ensure that executive action is only doing what it is entitled to do by jurisdiction

Overview of Administrative Law

  • 3 limits on exercise of executive powers

    • can only do what statute tells you to do (maintaining jurisdiction – ex. Ultra vires v inter vires)

    • must ensure appropriate procedural fairness; cannot exercise discretion arbitrarily

      • difficult to place along the scale of judicial review

    • in some cases, you cannot be wrong about your decision making power

In many cases where an administrative decision is made, you have the right to judicial review. This is the means by which the court overviews administrative powers.

An application is generally made and the court will decide whether or not to intervene (different from appeal because an appeal is a disagreement about what one level of court has decided)


1. Right of appeal must be provided for by statute. Unless the law permits you to do so, there is no right to appeal

  • Even by statute, you cannot derogate something to be reviewed by judicial review

2. Standard that court applies in decision varies between appeal and judicial review

  • Courts are more exacting with appeals than judicial review

  • With judicial review, the courts will tolerate some level of error

    • Typically you just have to show that the decision was reasonable

3. On appeal court has broad remedial powers (can substitute decision for decision of lower courts)

- in judicial review, the remedial decision is more narrow; can only say that something was wrong. Cannot substitute its own decision or invoke a remedy.

On Judicial Review you could argue:

  1. tribunal exceeded its authority

  2. process by which decision was made wasn’t fair

  3. decision maker has committed an error of law or fact

  • courts will typically look to a high standard of jurisdiction to see if the tribunal has exceeded its authority

    • ex. ONHC limitation period cannot bring a claim after a particular point in time (1 yr) – that limit has been considered a jurisdictional issue because if it’s filed after 1 year, the tribunal doesn’t have jurisdiction to...

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