Victoria University

Absolute discretion and the rule of law: Uneasy bedfellows

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Show simple item record Leggat, Antonia 2017-05-23T03:51:29Z 2017-05-23T03:51:29Z 2016 2016
dc.description.abstract "Absolute discretion" in decision-making under the Immigration Act 2009 is intended to generate administrative efficiency and balance individual and national interests. While New Zealand courts have reached a consensus that the use of absolute discretion does not create ouster clauses and Immigration New Zealand's internal instructions have also eroded the absolute nature, each of them have differed their definitions of the scope of absolute discretion over time, within the same sections and over the whole Act. This paper proposes that the uncertainty surrounding absolute discretion's precise meaning—both within and between the varying definitions provided by the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive—threatens the vital rule of law concept of legal certainty. Considering the potential encroachment of unrestrained absolute discretion on international obligations, human rights and access to information, clarity is essential. Two steps could be taken to enhance clarity, with minimal impingement on the Act's policy: removal of the descriptive "absolute"; and clarification, in regulations, of the mandatory considerations, recording standards and extra-legislative factors to which must be given effect within each decision made in absolute discretion. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.subject Absolute discretion en_NZ
dc.subject Ouster clause en_NZ
dc.subject Immigration Act 2009 en_NZ
dc.subject Cao v The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment en_NZ
dc.subject Singh v Chief Executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment en_NZ
dc.title Absolute discretion and the rule of law: Uneasy bedfellows en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Law en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Research Paper or Project en_NZ LL.B. (Honours) en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 180103 Administrative Law en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 180114 Human Rights Law en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 180116 International Law en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 180120 Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems) en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies en_NZ

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