The word “discretion” is often used in association with the decisions made by public servants. What does it mean? In honest plain language it means “do as you like” : Re Norrington; Brindle v Partridge (1879) 13 Ch D 654 at 650 per Bacon V-C.

When an Australian Public Servant exercises a “discretion” not to investigate allegations of misconduct this is simply a case of “doing as he or she likes” to serve his or her own interests.

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This tab updated on 22 March 2015