Procedural Fairness Legal Definition

Notification is the obligation to inform a person of a court case that affects their rights or interests once the case has been initiated. The communication must give someone a reasonable opportunity to present evidence and arguments and respond to opposing parties. Periods of notice are often set out in the rules governing the procedure of an administrative authority. The obligation to report properly continues to exist. A party whose rights or interests are at stake must be informed of all relevant issues raised before and during the hearing in order to participate meaningfully in the proceedings. Under section 59 (5) of the Administrative Tribunal Act, the court considers whether the court has breached the “common law rules of natural justice and procedural fairness”. She wanted to know whether the court had acted fairly in all circumstances. Procedural fairness has evolved from its origins as an obligation of public authorities to act fairly and with common sense in the exercise of sovereign powers. The procedural fairness process is also seen as essential to informed decision-making by encouraging decision-makers to establish processes that require them to hear all points of view, to thoroughly consider the available evidence, and to be impartial and objective in their decision.

Minister of Immigration and Border Protection v. WZARH [2015] HCA 40 (November 4, 2015) [30] (Kiefel, Bell and Keane JJ). Procedural fairness is not implicit in the exercise of legislative authority by an administrator, that is, when passing delegated legislation. 14.26 On the other hand, if a decision “had particularly serious consequences for a person concerned, the hearing rule would require detailed rules of procedure.” [45] 14.13 In 2015, the High Court succinctly stated that in the absence of clear and contrary legislative intent, decision-makers must ensure procedural fairness for those affected by their decisions.” [15] If procedural fairness has been denied, the decision made is invalid regardless of whether the decision itself was the right or the most preferable. What makes an administrative procedure procedurally appropriate varies from one administrative body to another. The following are examples of what may be required for an administrative procedure to be procedurally fair. Procedural fairness is a central concept in administrative law. This means fairness in the procedures used to reach an administrative decision. Procedural justice is fundamental to the administration of justice.

If procedural fairness is not ensured, a person may appeal and overturn a decision on that ground. What is required in the interests of procedural fairness depends on the nature of the issues in question. Parties must always have a reasonable opportunity to present their case, and what constitutes a reasonable possibility depends on the circumstances. It is generally accepted that in the absence of a clear legislative intent to the contrary, administrative decision-makers should presume that they have a duty of procedural fairness to a person whose interests, rights or freedoms are prejudiced by the decision (cf. Minister of Immigration and Border Protection v. WZARH [2015] 256 CLR 326, by Kiefel, Bell and Keane JJ.). Parliament`s intent may also exclude or restrict fairness obligations or prescribe how procedural fairness is to be achieved. 14.18 The duty of fairness in proceedings has no fixed content. The fairness of the proceedings depends on the nature of the issues in dispute and what would constitute a reasonable opportunity for the parties to present their arguments in the relevant circumstances.

Mason J. stated in Kioa v. West that “the expression `procedural fairness` .. conveys the notion of a flexible obligation to adopt procedures that are fair, appropriate and appropriate to the circumstances of the case”. [26] In re Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs; Ex parte Lam, Justice Gleeson emphasized that “fairness is not an abstract concept” and that “the concern of the law is to avoid practical injustice.” [27] Examples of procedural fairness explicitly restricted or excluded by law include: Whether the duty to provide procedural fairness has been limited or excluded by law is a matter of legal interpretation.