Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners The Interface between Equitable Principles and Public Law



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Conclusion


As can be seen from the foregoing review, administrative law and equity intersect in a variety of ways by analogical application of equitable principles, direct application of such principles, and by the application of equitable remedies in relation to exercises of public power. A broader concept of equity informs the construction of statutes and the contemporary understanding of administrative justice. The substantive application of equitable principles in relation to fiduciary obligations and preclusionary doctrines is open to future development.

1 Sharp v Wakefield [1891] AC 173 at 179 per Lord Halsbury LC.

2 M Aronson, B Dyer and M Groves, Judicial Review of Administrative Action (Lawbook, 4th ed, 2009) at 94.

3 Osmond v Public Service Board (NSW) (1986) 159 CLR 656.

4 Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury [1948] 1 KB 223.

5 A classification developed by Margaret Allars, see, M Allars, Introduction to Australian Administrative Law (Butterworths, 1990) 5.54-5.57.

6 Fares Rural Meat and Livestock Co Pty Ltd v Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation (1990) 96 ALR 153 at 167.

7 SA De Smith, De Smith's Judicial Review (Sweet & Maxwell, 6th ed, 2007) 11-069.

8 Fares Rural Meat and Livestock Co Pty Ltd v Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation (1990) 96 ALR 153 at 167. Sunshine Coast Broadcasters Ltd v Duncan (1988) 83 ALR 121; New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council v Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1995) 131 ALR 559, Aronson, Dyer and Groves, above n 2, at 383-386.

9 G Sawer, 'The Administration of Morals' in AR Blackshield (ed), Legal Change: Essays in Honour of Julius Stone (Butterworths, 1983) at 85-87.

10 J Story, Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence (Stevens and Haynes, 1884) ch 1 par 3.

11 Ibid.

12 R v Lord Chancellor; Ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575; R v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Ex parte Simms [2000] 2 AC 115; D Dyzenhaus, M Hunt and M Taggett, 'The Principle of Legality in Administrative Law: Internationalisation as Constitutionalisation' (2001) 1 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 5-34; J Spigelman, 'The Principle of Legality and the Clear Statement Principle' (2005) 79 Australian Law Journal 769.

13 (1908) 7 CLR 277.

14 (1908) 7 CLR 277 at 304.

15 United States v Fisher (1805) 2 Cranch 358 at 390.

16 See eg, Bropho v Western Australia (1990) 171 CLR 1 at 18, and Coco v The Queen (1994) 179 CLR 427 at 437.

17 (2004) 221 CLR 309 at 329 [21].

18 (1991) 22 NSWLR 687.

19 (1991) 22 NSWLR 687 at 700.

20 See eg, Bridgewater v Leahy (1998) 194 CLR 457, referring to the possibility that a statute relating to perpetual leases permitted the operation of the equitable doctrine of vendor's lien.

21 The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (5th ed, 2002) vol 1 at 851.

22 Story, above n 10, ch 1 par 19.

23 Bond v Hopkins 1 Sch & Lefr 428 at 429 cited by Story, above n 10, ch 1 par 20.

24 FW Maitland, Equity a Course of Lectures (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 1936) at 19.

25 Ibid at 20.

26 Ibid.

27 IJ Hardingham, 'Unconscionable Dealing' in PD Finn (ed), Essays in Equity (Lawbook, 1985) at 1.

28 (2003) 214 CLR 51 at 73 [43].

29 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v CG Berbatis Pty Ltd (2003) 214 CLR 51 at 73 [43] citing J McGhee (ed), Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell, 30th ed, 2000), Preface.

30 [1783] 22 State Trials 1 at 155-156.

31 PD Finn, 'The Forgotten ''Trust'': The People and the State' in M Cope (ed), Equity: Issues and Trends (Federation Press, 1995) at 133.

32 (1920) 26 CLR 494.

33 (1923) 33 CLR 386.

34 (1923) 33 CLR 386 at 410-411.

35 (1923) 33 CLR 386 at 412.

36 (1827) 1 Bligh NS 312.

37 (1827) 1 Bligh NS 312 at 340-341.

38 J Barratt, 'Public Trusts' (2006) 69 Modern Law Review 514.

39 (1838) 4 My & Cr 249 at 254-255.

40 Cited in Barratt, above n 38, at 523.

41 [1877] 6 Ch D 539.

42 [1877] 6 Ch D 539 at 541-543.

43 Barratt, above n 38, at 525.

44 [1925] AC 578.

45 [1955] 1 Ch 210.

46 [2002] 2 AC 357.

47 Potter v Magill [2002] 2 AC 357 at 463.

48 [2002] 2 AC 357 at 463.

49 HG Hanbury, Essays in Equity (Clarendon Press, 1934) at 83.

50 Income Tax Commissioners v Pemsel [1891] AC 531.

51 Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932] AC 526.

52 Boyce v Paddington Borough Council [1906] AC 1.

53 A Mason, 'The Place of Equity and Equitable Remedies in the Contemporary Common Law World' (1994) 110 Law Quarterly Review 238 at 238.

54 Ibid at 242.

55 GE Dal Pont and DRC Chalmers, Equity and Trusts in Australia and New Zealand (LBC Information Services, 1996) at 116.

56 (1998) 194 CLR 247 at 257 [25]; see also J Enderbury, 'Equity and Public Law in the Law of Standing: Bateman's Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council v the Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund Pty Ltd' (1999) 21 Sydney Law Review 129.

57 (1998) 194 CLR 247 at 259.

58 (2000) 199 CLR 135.

59 (2000) 199 CLR 135 at 144 [18].

60 (2000) 199 CLR 135 at 145 [22].

61 (1982) 151 CLR 342.

62 Corporation of the City of Enfield v Development Assessment Commission (2000) 199 CLR 135 at 146 [22].

63 (2000) 199 CLR 135 at 156.

64 (2000) 199 CLR 135 at 157-158 [58].

65 (1999) 200 CLR 591.

66 (1999) 200 CLR 591 at 628 [97].

67 D Wright, 'The Role of Equitable Remedies in the Merging of Private and Public Law' (2001) 12 Public Law Review 40 at 50.

68 For a comprehensive treatment see J Thomson, 'Estoppel by Representation in Administrative Law' (1998) 26 Federal Law Review 83; E Campbell, 'Estoppel in Pais and Public Authorities' (1998) 5 Australian Journal of Administrative Law 157; and EJ Morzone, 'Estoppel and Other Private Law Preclusionary Doctrines in Public Law' (1999) Queensland Lawyer 135.

69 Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Kurtovic (1990) 21 FCR 193 per Gummow J.

70 (1990) 170 CLR 394.

71 (1990) 21 FCR 193.

72 (1990) 21 FCR 193 at 215.

73 (1990) 170 CLR 1 at 17.

74 (1990) 170 CLR 1 at 18.

75 (1990) 170 CLR 1 at 39.

76 Finn, above n 31, at 3.

77 This does not raise the question whether the exercise of prerogative or executive powers are non‑justiciable. That the limits of such powers may be tested in judicial review is clear – see the discussion in Re Ditford; Ex parte Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (1988) 19 FCR 347 at 368‑369 per Gummow J, and its application in Ruddock v Vadarlis (No 2) (2001) 115 FCR 229 at 242.

78 Kinloch v Secretary of State for India in Counsel (1887) 7 App Cas 619 at 625-626.

79 Te Teira Te Paea v Te Roera Tareha [1902] AC 56 at 72 per Lord Lindley.

80 Te Toh v Waddell (No 2) [1977] Ch 106; Swain v Law Society [1983] 1 AC 598. See also PW Hogg, Liability of the Crown (Sydney, Lawbook Co, 2nd ed, 1989) at 186-188.

81 Roberts v Hopwood [1925] AC 578 at 596 per Lord Atkinson and 603-604 per Lord Sumner.

82 [1983] 1 AC 768 at 815 per Lord Wilberforce and 838 per Lord Scarman.

83 M Supperstone and J Goudie, Judicial Review (Butterworths, 1992) at 266-267.

84 Dal Pont and Chalmers, above n 55, at 117.

85 5 Pte 1 (1831).

86 See also Worcester v State of Georgia 6 Pte 515 (1832); United States v Kagama 118 US 375 (1886) at 383-384.

87 463 US 206 (1983).

88 US v Mitchell 463 US 206 (1983) at 225.

89 (1984) 13 DLR (4th) 321.

90 (1984) 13 DLR (4th) 321 at 334.

91 (1990) 70 DLR (4th) 385.

92 New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General [1987] 1 NZLR 641; New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General [1989] 2 NZLR 142; Te Runanga o Wharekauri Rekohu Inc v Attorney-General [1993] 2 NZLR 301.

93 Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1.

94 (1992) 175 CLR 1 at 60.

95 (1992) 175 CLR 1 at 113.

96 (1992) 175 CLR 1 at 203.

97 (1993) 118 ALR 193.

98 (1993) 118 ALR 193 at 204.

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