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LAW7249 - Fact finding in administrative proceedings

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Dr Peter Johnston


Not offered in 2007


Objectives of administrative and judicial adjudication; relevance of curial methods and evidentiary rules in administrative contexts; how natural justice and other Administrative Law principles constrain and mould administrative fact-finding processes; natural justice implications of recent legislative trends;oral hearings, assess competency of witnesses, question witnesses (including witnesses with particular mental and intellectual disabilities), work with interpreters, test a witness's credit, interpret witness's words and demeanour, probe and test evidence, draw appropriate inferences of fact, evaluate expert evidence, assess conflicting evidence, explain and justify findings of fact.


By completing this subject students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. consider how an adjudicator's fact-finding procedures are shaped and constrained by the administrative context, particular statutory requirements and the rules of natural justice:
  2. select appropriately from a variety of means by which administrative adjudicators may inform themselves about the facts of a case;
  3. select and practise appropriate techniques for testing the credibility of witnesses and the cogency of evidence;
  4. draw appropriately upon the rationale of the rules of Evidence and the principles of Administrative Law for guidance in resolving fact-finding issues, and
  5. explain and justify their appraisal of the evidence and their findings of fact in a clear, logical and lawful manner.


Group written hearing plan for the practicum 30%
2. Case study analysis (group or individual activity) - 30%
Written assignment: 40% (Total words for all assessment no more than 7,000)

Contact hours

2 hours per week