Developments in Australia Since 1985

 

Who has standing in Australian courts?

Who has standing in Australian courts?

Relief

Law as at 1985

Developments since 1985

Prohibition

A party to the proceedings before the tribunal or inferior court against which prohibition is sought.

Any other person at the discretion of the court - but the courts tended only to grant relief to a person aggrieved.

The courts are using a ‘special interest in the subject-matter’ test to determine standing.

Certiorari

Any person at the discretion of the court - but the courts tended only to grant relief to a person aggrieved, being a person who has suffered damaged greater than that suffered by ordinary members of the public.

The courts are using a ‘special interest in the subject-matter’ test to determine standing.

Mandamus

A person who will benefit if the duty is performed or who has an interest in the duty being performed. The necessary interest has been described in a number of ways including ‘legal specific right’, ‘sufficient interest’ and ‘special interest’.

No change.

Statutory mandamus

Any person who is ‘personally interested’.

No change.

Injunctions and declarations

The Attorney-General when seeking to enforce a ‘public right’.

Any other person seeking to enforce a ‘public right’ where:
1. he or she is granted a fiat by the Attorney-General to enforce the right as relator;
2. his or her private right has been interfered with at the same time as the ‘public right’;

he or she has a ‘special interest’ in the subject matter of the action.

No change to the right of the Attorney-General.

No change to the three grounds.

However, the courts have adopted a more liberal approach when considering whether a party possesses a ‘special interest’.

* Taken from the 1996 Australian Law Reform Commission Report.

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