University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series
Last Updated: 4 December 2009
, University of New South Wales
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This paper was published in (2009) 37 Federal Law Review 165.
The Great Depression contributed to the rapid growth in the size and functions of the administrative state. While its importance for administrative law scholarship was greater in America than in Australia or the United Kingdom, it focused scholars everywhere on questions of the democratic legitimacy of government institutions functioning beyond any practical oversight of Parliament. The current global economic crisis poses similar questions. New banking laws permit forced sales and nationalisation in the UK, and the laws relating to compensation for government interventions in both Australia and the UK carry the potential for serious unfairness. Vast government stimulus programs contain few legal constraints or genuine oversight mechanisms. These are issues warranting the attention of administrative law scholars.