Kioa v West: 18 Dec 1985


(High Court of Australia) Immigration and Aliens – Deportation – Power of Minister – Principles of natural justice – Whether applicable – Standing as Australian citizen of infant daughter of aliens – Intended deportation order – Whether notice required – Migration Act 1958 (Cth), ss. 6, 6A, 7, 18.
Administrative Law – Decision – Natural justice – Procedural fairness – Order for deportation of aliens – Review of decision – Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth), ss. 5, 13.
The court described the essence of procedural fairness. Mason J said: ‘In this respect the expression ‘procedural fairness’ more aptly conveys the notion of a flexible obligation to adopt fair procedures which are appropriate and adapted to the circumstances of the particular case. The statutory power must be exercised fairly, that is, in accordance with procedures that are fair to the individual considered in the light of the statutory requirements, the interests of the individual and the interests and purposes, whether public or private, which the statute seeks to advance or protect or permits to be taken into account as legitimate considerations . .’
Brennan J stated: ‘a person whose interests are likely to be affected by an exercise of power must be given an opportunity to deal with relevant matters adverse to his interests which the repository of the power proposes to take into account in deciding upon its exercise; . . the person whose interests are likely to be affected does not have to given an opportunity to comment on every adverse piece of information, irrespective of its credibility, relevance or significance . . nevertheless in the ordinary case where no problem of confidentiality arises an opportunity should be given to deal with adverse information that is credible, relevant and significant to the decision to be made. It is not sufficient for the repository of the power to endeavour to shut information of that kind out of his mind and to reach a decision without reference to it. Information of that kind creates a real risk of prejudice, albeit unconscious, and it is unfair to deny a person whose interests are likely to be affected by the decision an opportunity to deal with the information . .’

Gibbs CJ, Mason, Wilson, Brennan, Deane JJ
(1985) 60 ALJR 113, (1985) 159 CLR 550, [1985] HCA 81
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Parole Board ex parte Smith, Regina v Parole Board ex parte West (Conjoined Appeals) HL 27-Jan-2005
Each defendant challenged the way he had been treated on revocation of his parole licence, saying he should have been given the opportunity to make oral representations.
Held: The prisoners’ appeals were allowed.
Lord Bingham stated: . .
CitedSave Our Surgery Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts Admn 7-Mar-2013
The claimants sought judicial review of the report prepared by the defendants under which departments providing childrens’ heart surgery at their regional hospital would close. They complained that the consultation had been inadequate and flawed. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Administrative, Natural Justice

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.222098