Challenges for Australian Tribunals; Towards Aretaic Practice Principles

Christou, Alison (2007). Challenges for Australian Tribunals; Towards Aretaic Practice Principles MPhil Thesis, T. C. Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland.

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n40178978_mphil_abstract.pdf n40178978_mphil_abstract.pdf application/pdf 36.27KB 19
n40178978_mphil_content.pdf n40178978_mphil_content.pdf application/pdf 444.16KB 19
n40178978_mphil_front.pdf n40178978_mphil_front.pdf application/pdf 40.92KB 37
n40178978_mphil_totalthesis.pdf n40178978_mphil_totalthesis.pdf application/pdf 451.49KB 10
Author Christou, Alison
Thesis Title Challenges for Australian Tribunals; Towards Aretaic Practice Principles
School, Centre or Institute T. C. Beirne School of Law
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2007-10
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Ratnapala, Suri
Language eng
Subjects 390000 Law, Justice and Law Enforcement
Abstract/Summary ‘…more citizens… receive their justice from agencies than the courts’ (Chitra: 3). The last 30 years of administrative law practice in Australia have been characterised by the proliferation of tribunals and other bodies engaged in quasi-judicial work. These organisations have developed on a largely ad hoc basis, particularly at the state and territory level. Despite this rapid growth – or perhaps as a result of it - a clear articulation of the underlying practice principles pertinent to tribunals has yet to occur in any coherent fashion. This thesis canvasses the current mechanisms used to assist tribunal members in their work, including legislative and ethical parameters. The argument is then mounted that more guidance is needed in relation to the normative excellences of the tribunal member’s role. An analysis of the systemic and cultural challenges faced by the sector is presented, highlighting the lack of sector definition, disparate practices, resource limitations and institutional isolation that characterise Australian tribunal work. Canadian and United Kingdom experiences provide a useful context for Australian impediments and developments. A state-based merits review body is used as a case study throughout the thesis to illustrate these issues. It is posited that greater emphasis upon the philosophical underpinnings of tribunal practice will assist in improving cohesion among sector members, leading to enhanced delivery of administrative justice. A stance from virtue ethics is adopted as a starting point for this endeavour, on the basis that improved decision-making commences with close analysis of the excellences defining the tribunal member’s role. This aretaic approach highlights the importance of ‘practical wisdom’ or phronesis in tribunal work. Methods for implementing and enhancing discussion of relevant tribunal practice principles are then examined, with various innovative legal training tools being nominated as particularly useful in the tribunal context. The tribunal sector is generally seen to have operated adequately to date. A more normative approach to decisionmaking excellence within the tribunal field is required, however, with this thesis forming the staring point of such analysis.

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Created: Thu, 28 Feb 2008, 13:25:59 EST by Noela Stallard on behalf of Library - Information Access Service