Davidson, Justin

Senior Executive Lawyer

In-house counsel

Justin practices predominantly in information protection, administrative law and commission of inquiry matters. He assists a wide range of Commonwealth parties in responding to subpoenas and other compulsory information notices in courts and tribunals around Australia, and is well-versed in a range of information protection regimes including the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004. He has substantial expertise in privileges and immunities, including legal professional privilege and parliamentary privilege matters. He regularly advises on and appears in disputes under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), Privacy Act 1988 and Archives Act 1983. Justin also has significant expertise in administrative law litigation, appearing before various tribunals and federal courts.

His often high-profile matters range from appearing for Commonwealth agencies resisting disclosure of national security information to defending permits for the application of rat poison over Lord Howe Island. Among others, he was solicitor on the record for the Commonwealth in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and acted for (then) Rear Admiral Barrett as an interested party in the SIEV 221 coronial inquest.

Justin is widely recognised for his exemplary client service and advice. He is also an accomplished trainer, frequently assisting agencies with their learning and development needs across a wide range of administrative law topics. He is a section editor for the Australian Journal of Administrative Law.

Recent experience

Justin’s recent experience includes:

  • acting for the Attorney-General to protect national security information in a number of high-profile prosecutions
  • appearing in a significant Full Federal Court decision on the Privacy Act 1988: AIT18 v Australian Information Commissioner and anor [2018] FCAFC 192
  • successfully defending a complex and novel chemical permit dispute: Lord Howe Island First Peoples Association and APVMA [2019] AATA 748
  • appearing in an important appeal testing the relationship between secrecy provisions and the FOI Act: Mullen v Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner [2020] FCAFC 78.

Qualifications

Accredited Trainer, Australian Institute of Management, 2005

Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University, 2004

Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University, 2003

Recognition

Australia Day Award 2019 as a member of the AGS team advising on institutional sexual abuse redress scheme

Australian Law Awards 2019 winner – member of the AGS Pro Bono Program of the Year (overseas aid training)