Submission by Assistant Professor Narelle Bedford to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications Legislation in relation to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015 - Submission 129
Date of this Version
Response or Comment
Summary of major points:
1. Standing generally has a role in upholding fundamental legal and democratic principles.
2. The ADJR Act test for standing has a detailed history of consideration by the High Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia.
3. This case law has recently been characterised by a more expansive judicial attitude towards applicants seeking standing.
4. The issue of standing has in the past been considered by various expert legal advisory bodies.
5. However, there are specific considerations that apply in respect of concerns that may arise under the EPBC Act.
6. These specific considerations will not be efficiently and adequately addressed by adopting the ADJR Act test.
7. Adopting the ADJR Act test would have a flow-on consequence of increasing the workload of the courts by focusing legal argument on standing rather than compliance with the provisions of the EPBC Act.
8. The conclusion presented is that the present provisions should be retained and the Bill opposed.