Law, politics, and the Attorney-General

the context and impact of Gouriet v Union of Post Office Workers

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Abstract

The role of the Attorney-General as the guardian of the public interest, in considering granting his or her fiat to relator proceedings in relation to the enforcement of public rights, often attracts political controversy. This is vividly illustrated in the circumstances surrounding the decision of the House of Lords in Gouriet v Union of Post Office Workers, which confirmed the traditional rule that the Attorney-General’s decision to refuse to grant his or her fiat is not justiciable (the fiat rule). This article details the rationale for the fiat rule, explores the political context and impact of the Gouriet case, and briefly details the impact of the decision on the rights of a private individual to enforce public rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-126
Number of pages22
JournalMacquarie law journal
Volume16
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher version archived with the permission of the Dean, Division of Law, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.

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