Over thirty years has now passed since the High Court of Australia held in Public Service Board (NSW) v Osmond that the common law imposes no obligation on administrative decision-makers to provide reasons for their decisions. Despite this, significant developments made in Australian administrative law since Osmond was decided may in fact cause major difficulties to a rule that has survived the past thirty years largely unscathed. In particular, this paper demonstrates that although the emergence of Li unreasonableness is unlikely to give rise to a common law duty to provide reasons, the principles of natural justice provide a solid doctrinal foundation for the High Court to reconsider the position expressed in Osmond.
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