Procedural Fairness

Definition overview

1 Definition

Procedural fairness aims to ensure decision-making is fair. While it is more likely a decision-maker who follows a fair procedure will reach a fair and correct decision. Procedural fairness can be seen to be concerned more with the procedures used by the decision-maker than the actual outcome reached.

The statutory powers of the University must be exercised in accordance with procedures that are fair to the individual when considered in light of:

  • the statutory requirements;
  • the interests of the individual; and
  • the interests and purposes, whether public or private, which a statute seeks to advance or protect or permits to be taken into account as legitimate considerations.

In general therefore affording procedural fairness means taking into account the perspective of the person affected by a decision. Procedural fairness requires that a person whose interests are to be affected by a decision (whether adjudicative or administrative) receive a fair and unbiased hearing before the decision is made. Specific procedures to afford procedural fairness can depend however upon the facts and circumstances of a particular matter.

In practice a decision-maker therefore often needs to consider a range of other principles of procedural fairness depending on the circumstances of the matter at hand, including:

  • the right to know
  • the right to be heard
  • the right to an unbiased decision-maker
  • the right to support
  • the right to confidentiality
  • the right to have decisions based on the evidence
  • the right to be informed of the reasons
  • the exercise of discretion

The commitment to Procedural Fairness within the University therefore conveys a flexible obligation for a responsible decision-maker to ensure that fair procedures are adopted which are appropriate and adapted to the circumstances of a particular matter in order to improve a decision.

2 References

USQ Defined.

3 Definition Information

Approved Date


Effective Date


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Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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