Australian Institute of Administrative Law

Call for Papers - AIAL National Conference 2017

24 Feb


Ripples of affection* – Administrative law and communities 

Meeting community expectations – ensuring engagement and participation – achieving just and correct outcomes

Thursday 20 and Friday 21 July 2017

Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit

Barton, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

The AIAL National Administrative Law Conference is Australia’s pre-eminent administrative law conference, having been held each year since 1991. The 2017 Conference will be the 27th National Administrative Law Conference. 

The aim of the Conference is to provide those involved or interested in Australian administrative law with the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues, share practical experiences and consider future developments. The 2017 Conference will be hosted by the National Executive Committee of the Institute.


It is proposed that the overarching theme for the 2017 AIAL National Administrative Law Conference will be ‘Ripples of affection – Administrative law and communities’. The subtheme to be explored within this broader theme is ‘meeting community expectations – ensuring engagement and participation – achieving just and correct outcomes’. This invites consideration of a range of current issues.

*The theme derives from an observation made by former Chief Justice The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan (when he was President of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal) in Re McHattan and Collector of Customs (NSW) (1977) 1 ALD 67 at 70:

[A] decision which affects interests of one person directly may affect the interests of others indirectly. Across the pool of sundry interest, the ripples of affection may widely extend.

The themes reflect the reality of administrative law having significant and far-reaching impact across communities, covering topics such as:

  • the impact of tribunal amalgamation, larger registries and broader jurisdiction, the role and contribution of specialist (non-legal) decision-makers, self-represented litigants and recognition of diversity in hearing and pre-hearing processes
  • the roles of interest and lobby groups, standing considerations in planning / environmental law and other areas, whether making decisions at the local level or which affect particular local communities requires a different strategy and approach to achieve access to justice outcomes
  • the role and contribution of lawyers and non-lawyers in addressing the needs of Indigenous persons, persons with mental illness or disability, migrants, veterans and other groups in the community, how administrative policies and decision-making processes may impact on such groups and result in over-representation in the justice system, and the development of trust in institutions
  • rights to access your own information, technological impacts on privacy, identifying and managing data breaches and considering whether 20th century laws meet the challenges of 21st century information holdings.


The Institute calls for potential papers on these themes to be presented at the Conference.

The Conference will provide a stimulating mixture of practical sessions and more reflective and thought-provoking presentations. The Conference will include a review of the state of administrative law in the Commonwealth, States and Territories. The Institute encourages contributions on the Conference themes but is also interested in finding space for those with fresh perspectives or ideas not reflected in the suggested range of topics above.

Please send written proposals for a paper by Friday 24 February 2017 by email to:

or by post to: AIAL, PO Box 83, DEAKIN WEST, ACT 2600.


Conference speakers will be asked to prepare papers, which will be made available to those attending the Conference. Selected papers may also be published in the Institute’s journal, AIAL Forum. Papers may be refereed, if required by the contributor.


The 2017 National Administrative Law Conference will commence at 1:00pm on Thursday 20 July 2017 and conclude at 4:30pm on Friday 21 July 2017. All Conference Sessions will be held at the Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton, ACT.



The 2017 Conference will be attended by a diverse audience of practitioners, policy makers and decision makers. Please contact the Conference organisers for assistance in planning an adjunct meeting, or to discuss a Conference display.


For enquiries about the program or to discuss a possible paper, please contact:

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