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Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2000

Part 11 Administrative Review Council

Division 1 Establishment and composition of the Council

174   Establishment of the Council

                   The Administrative Review Council is established.

175   Composition of the Council

                   The Administrative Review Council consists of the following members:

                     (a)  the President of the Tribunal;

                     (b)  the Ombudsman;

                     (c)  the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission established by the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996 ;

                     (d)  not fewer than 3 other members or more than 10 other members or, if a higher number than 10 is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph, that higher number of members.



 

Division 2 Functions of the Council etc.

176   Functions of the Council

             (1)  This section sets out the Council’s functions.

Review and monitor developments in administrative law

             (2)  The Council is to keep the Commonwealth administrative law system under review, monitor developments in administrative law and recommend to the Attorney-General improvements that might be made to the system.

Inquire into adequacy of procedures used by persons to make administrative decisions etc.

             (3)  The Council is:

                     (a)  to inquire into the adequacy of the procedures used by authorities of the Commonwealth and other persons who exercise administrative discretions or make administrative decisions; and

                     (b)  to consult with and advise them about those procedures;

for the purpose of ensuring that the discretions are exercised, or the decisions are made, in a just and equitable manner. If the Council holds such an inquiry, or gives any such advice, the Council must give the Attorney-General a copy of any findings made by the Council in the inquiry or a copy of the advice, as the case may be.

Ascertain and keep under review decisions that a court etc. does not review

             (4)  The Council is to ascertain, and keep under review, the classes of administrative decisions that are not the subject of review by a court, tribunal or other body.

Recommend to Attorney-General whether any decisions should be subject to review by a court etc.

             (5)  The Council is to make recommendations to the Attorney-General as to whether any of those classes of decisions should be the subject of review by a court, tribunal or other body and, if so, as to the appropriate court, tribunal or other body to make that review.

Inquire into adequacy of law and practice relating to review by courts of administrative decisions

             (6)  The Council is to inquire into the adequacy of the law and practice relating to the review by courts of administrative decisions and to make recommendations to the Attorney-General as to any improvements that might be made in that law or practice.

Inquire into qualifications etc. of persons engaged in review of administrative decisions

             (7)  The Council is to inquire into:

                     (a)  the qualifications required for membership of authorities of the Commonwealth, and the qualifications required by other persons, engaged in the review of administrative decisions; and

                     (b)  the extent of the jurisdiction to review administrative decisions that is conferred on those authorities and other persons; and

                     (c)  the adequacy of the procedures used by those authorities and other persons in the exercise of that jurisdiction;

and to consult with and advise those authorities and other persons about the procedures used by them as mentioned in paragraph (c) and recommend to the Attorney-General any improvements that might be made in respect of any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c).

Recommend to Attorney-General the constitution of Tribunals reviewing administrative decisions

             (8)  The Council is to make recommendations to the Attorney-General as to the manner in which tribunals engaged in the review of administrative decisions should be constituted.

Recommend to Attorney-General the desirability of decisions to be reviewed by the Administrative Review Tribunal

             (9)  The Council is to make recommendations to the Attorney-General as to the desirability of administrative decisions that are the subject of review by tribunals other than the Administrative Review Tribunal being made the subject of review by the Administrative Review Tribunal.

Facilitate training of persons making administrative decisions

           (10)  The Council is to facilitate the training of members of authorities of the Commonwealth and other persons in exercising administrative discretions or making administrative decisions.

Promote knowledge about Commonwealth administrative law system

           (11)  The Council is to promote knowledge about the Commonwealth administrative law system.

Consider matters referred by the Attorney-General

           (12)  The Council is to consider, and report to the Attorney-General on, matters referred to the Council by the Attorney-General.

Interpretation

           (13)  A reference in this Part to an administrative decision or an administrative discretion includes a reference to an administrative decision made, or an administrative discretion exercised, otherwise than under an enactment.

177   Performance of functions not limited by vacancies in office etc.

                   The performance of the functions of the Council is not affected by reason only of:

                     (a)  there being a vacancy in the office of an ex officio Council member; or

                     (b)  the number of appointed Council members falling below 3 for not more than 3 months.

178   Meetings of the Council

Holding of meetings

             (1)  The Council is to hold such meetings as are necessary for the performance of its functions.

President may convene meeting at any time

             (2)  The President of the Council may at any time convene a meeting of the Council.

Note:          Section 183 provides for appointment of a President of the Council.

President must convene meeting upon request by 3 Council members

             (3)  The President of the Council must, on receipt of a request in writing signed by 3 Council members, convene a meeting of the Council.

Quorum

             (4)  At a meeting of the Council, 4 Council members constitute a quorum.

President to preside when present

             (5)  The President of the Council must preside at all meetings of the Council at which he or she is present.

Another Council member to preside if President not present

             (6)  If the President of the Council is not present at a meeting of the Council, the Council members present must elect one of their number to preside at that meeting and the person so elected must preside accordingly.

Voting

             (7)  Questions arising at a meeting of the Council are to be determined by a majority of the votes of the Council members present and voting.

Presiding Council member has casting vote

             (8)  The Council member presiding at a meeting of the Council has a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, also has a casting vote.

Conduct of proceedings etc.

             (9)  The Council may regulate the conduct of proceedings at its meetings as it thinks fit and must keep minutes of those proceedings.

179   Attorney-General may give directions to the Council

                   The Attorney-General may, by writing given to the President of the Council, give directions to the Council in respect of the performance of its functions, and the Council must comply with any such directions.

180   Attorney-General may refer matters to the Council

                   The Attorney-General may, by writing given to the President of the Council, refer matters to the Council for inquiry and report.

181   Reports by the Council

             (1)  When the Council concludes its consideration of:

                     (a)  a matter relating to a project in respect of which the Council has determined that a report is to be prepared; or

                     (b)  a matter referred by the Attorney-General to the Council for inquiry and report;

the Council is to prepare a report on the matter and give the report to the Attorney-General.

Tabling of report

             (2)  The Attorney-General must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable.



 

Division 3 How certain Council members are appointed

182   Governor-General to appoint certain Council members

                   The Council members mentioned in paragraph 175(d) are to be appointed by the Governor-General by written instrument.

183   Governor-General to appoint President of the Council

                   One Council member is to be appointed by the Governor-General as President of the Council.

184   Qualification for appointment of certain members of the Council

                   A person is not to be appointed as a Council member mentioned in paragraph 175(d) unless he or she:

                     (a)  has had extensive experience at a high level in industry, commerce, public administration, industrial relations, the practice of a profession or the service of a government or of an authority of a government; or

                     (b)  has an extensive knowledge of administrative law or public administration; or

                     (c)  has had direct experience, and has direct knowledge, of the needs of people, or groups of people, significantly affected by government decisions.



 

Division 4 Appointed Council members’ terms and conditions

185   Appointed Council members to be part-time

                   Appointed Council members are to be appointed as part-time members.

186   Term of appointment

                   Subject to this Division, an appointed Council member holds office for the period specified in his or her instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 3 years.

187   Appointed Council member may be appointed to take part in a specified project

             (1)  An instrument appointing a Council member mentioned in paragraph 175(d) may state that the member is appointed primarily for the purpose of taking part in a project specified in the instrument that is being, or is to be, undertaken by the Council.

Rights etc. of such a member

             (2)  If an instrument appointing a Council member mentioned in paragraph 175(d) contains such a statement:

                     (a)  the person is to take part in the project but has all the rights of, and is to be treated for the purposes of this Act in all other respects as if he or she were, an appointed Council member who was not appointed primarily for the purpose of taking part in a specified project; and

                     (b)  if the appointment has not ceased under section 186 and has not been terminated under subsection 190(1)—the appointment ceases when the President of the Council certifies in writing that the Council has finished the project.

188   Remuneration and allowances

             (1)  An appointed Council member is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Remuneration Tribunal is in operation, the member is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  An appointed Council member is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

             (3)  This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 .

189   Leave of absence

                   The Attorney-General may grant leave of absence to any appointed Council member on the terms and conditions that the Attorney-General determines.

190   Removal from office

Removal of Council members appointed to take part in a specified project

             (1)  The Governor-General may at any time remove from office an appointed Council member whose instrument of appointment contained a statement of the kind mentioned in subsection 187(1) (about the member being appointed to take part in a specified project).

Removal of other Council members

             (2)  The Governor-General must remove from office any other appointed Council member if the member:

                     (a)  misbehaves or becomes physically or mentally incapacitated; or

                     (b)  is absent, except on leave of absence, from 3 consecutive meetings of the Council.

191   Resignation

                   An appointed Council member may resign his or her appointment by giving the Governor-General a written resignation.



 

Division 5 Staff of the Council

192   Staff of the Council

                   The staff of the Council are to be persons engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 .



 

Division 6 Annual report

193   Annual report

                   After the end of each financial year, the President of the Council must give a report to the Attorney-General, for presentation to the Parliament, on the Council’s activities during the year.