Prison decisions

Bernard-Ross v NSW [2018] NSWSC 182

Courts have long been reluctant to interfere ‘in the discipline, administration or management of prisoners’6.  This case says (at [41]) that, as a matter of statutory interpretation, a judicial officer ‘should be slow to interfere with administrative decisions taken by those tasked with running prisons’7

This policy bias against review applies only to the extent that bad faith, improper purpose or extreme unreasonableness are not shown.  Although non-interference with operational decisions belongs more to the zone of administrative law, this case shows how prisons legislation is read down similarly

This case is from Episode 37 of interpretationNOW!


6 Modica (1994) 77 A Crim R 82 (at 88), Fyfe [2000] SASC 84 (at [18]).

7 McKane [2015] NSWSC 737 (at [55-56]), Kelleher [1999] NSWSC 86 referred to.