In addition to reviews of Commonwealth decisions under the common law outlined above, the Federal Court may review certain decisions under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth). This Act has made some changes to the common law. For example, as it became increasingly apparent that a good deal of harm could be done to a person simply by an adverse report or recommendation, even if not eventually acted upon (as this was not a decision), the Act provides that reports, actions or recommendations can now be challenged.
It should be emphasised that this form of statutory review fits into this category of judicial review because it operates under the same principles, that is, it is not a review of the merits of the decision as such, but a review of the processes undertaken to reach that decision so as to ensure that they were fair.
It should also be noted that this legislative review structure does not apply to all decisions. The Act has a schedule of decisions to which it does not apply and these should be considered before instituting any proceedings. This list is quite small. For this limited number of jurisdictions, prerogative remedies are required.
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