Administrative law
Overview
 
Administrative law is the body of law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 that governs the activities of administrative agencies
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

. Government agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 action can include rulemaking
Rulemaking
In administrative law, rulemaking refers to the process that executive and independent agencies use to create, or promulgate, regulations. In general, legislatures first set broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then agencies create more detailed regulations through rulemaking.By bringing...

, adjudication
Adjudication
Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved....

, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory
Regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

 agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law
Public law
Public law is a theory of law governing the relationship between individuals and the state. Under this theory, constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law are sub-divisions of public law...

. As a body of law, administrative law deals with the decision-making of administrative units of government (for example, tribunal
Tribunal
A tribunal in the general sense is any person or institution with the authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title....

s, board
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

s or commissions
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

) that are part of a national regulatory scheme
Regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

 in such areas as police law, international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, the environment
Environment (biophysical)
The biophysical environment is the combined modeling of the physical environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables, parameters as well as conditions and modes inside the Earth's biosphere. The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories:...

, taxation, broadcasting
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

, immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 and transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

.
Encyclopedia
Administrative law is the body of law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 that governs the activities of administrative agencies
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

. Government agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 action can include rulemaking
Rulemaking
In administrative law, rulemaking refers to the process that executive and independent agencies use to create, or promulgate, regulations. In general, legislatures first set broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then agencies create more detailed regulations through rulemaking.By bringing...

, adjudication
Adjudication
Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved....

, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory
Regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

 agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law
Public law
Public law is a theory of law governing the relationship between individuals and the state. Under this theory, constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law are sub-divisions of public law...

. As a body of law, administrative law deals with the decision-making of administrative units of government (for example, tribunal
Tribunal
A tribunal in the general sense is any person or institution with the authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title....

s, board
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

s or commissions
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

) that are part of a national regulatory scheme
Regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

 in such areas as police law, international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, the environment
Environment (biophysical)
The biophysical environment is the combined modeling of the physical environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables, parameters as well as conditions and modes inside the Earth's biosphere. The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories:...

, taxation, broadcasting
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

, immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 and transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

. Administrative law expanded greatly during the twentieth century, as legislative bodies worldwide created more government agencies
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 to regulate the increasingly complex social, economic and political spheres of human interaction.

Civil law countries often have specialized courts, administrative court
Administrative court
Greece, as a civil law country has administrative courts. The establishment of those courts can be found in article 94 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic 1975, as revised in 2001. The administrative courts are composed from districts Courts of First Instance, district Courts of Appeal and...

s, that review these decisions. The plurality of administrative decisions contested in administrative courts are related to taxation.

Administrative law in common law countries

Generally speaking, most countries that follow the principles of common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 have developed procedures for judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 that limit the reviewability of decisions made by administrative law bodies. Often these procedures are coupled with legislation or other common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 doctrines that establish standards for proper rulemaking
Rulemaking
In administrative law, rulemaking refers to the process that executive and independent agencies use to create, or promulgate, regulations. In general, legislatures first set broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then agencies create more detailed regulations through rulemaking.By bringing...

. Administrative law may also apply to review of decisions of so-called semi-public bodies, such as non-profit corporations, disciplinary boards, and other decision-making bodies that affect the legal rights of members of a particular group or entity.

While administrative decision-making bodies are often controlled by larger governmental units, their decisions could be reviewed by a court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 of general jurisdiction
General jurisdiction
A court of general jurisdiction is one that has the authority to hear cases of all kinds - criminal, civil, family, probate, and so forth.-Courts of general jurisdiction in the United States:All federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Many U.S...

 under some principle of judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 based upon due process
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

 (United States) or fundamental justice
Fundamental justice
Fundamental justice is a legal term that signifies a dynamic concept of fairness underlying the administration of justice and its operation, whereas principles of fundamental justice are specific legal principles that command "significant societal consensus" as "fundamental to the way in which the...

 (Canada). Judicial review of administrative decisions, it must be noted, is different from an administrative appeal. When sitting in review of a decision, the Court will only look at the method in which the decision was arrived at, whereas in an administrative appeal the correctness of the decision itself will be examined, usually by a higher body in the agency. This difference is vital in appreciating administrative law in common law countries.

The scope of judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 may be limited to certain questions of fairness, or whether the administrative action is ultra vires
Ultra vires
Ultra vires is a Latin phrase meaning literally "beyond the powers", although its standard legal translation and substitute is "beyond power". If an act requires legal authority and it is done with such authority, it is...

. In terms of ultra vires actions in the broad sense, a reviewing court may set aside an administrative decision if it is unreasonable (under Canadian law, following the rejection of the "Patently Unreasonable" standard by the Supreme Court in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick
Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick
Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 1 S.C.R. 190; 2008 SCC 9, is the leading Supreme Court of Canada decision in Canadian administrative law on the topic of substantive review and standards of review...

), Wednesbury unreasonable
Wednesbury unreasonableness
Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1947] 1 KB 223 is an English law case which set down the standard of unreasonableness of public body decisions which render them liable to be quashed on judicial review...

 (under British law), or arbitrary and capricious (under U.S. Administrative Procedure Act
Administrative Procedure Act
The Administrative Procedure Act , , is the United States federal law that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review...

 and New York State law). Administrative law, as laid down by the Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

, has also recognized two more grounds of judicial review which were recognized but not applied by English Courts viz. legitimate expectation
Legitimate expectation
In English law, the concept of legitimate expectation arises from administrative law, a branch of public law. In proceedings for judicial review, it applies the principles of fairness and reasonableness to the situation where a person has an expectation or interest in a public body retaining a...

 and proportionality
Proportionality (political maxim)
The principle of proportionality is a political maxim which states that no layer of government should take any action that exceeds that which is necessary to achieve the objective of government . It was initially developed in the German legal system.It is a fundamental principle of European Union...

.

The powers to review administrative decisions are usually established by statute, but were originally developed from the royal prerogative writ
Prerogative writ
Prerogative writs are a class of writs which originate from English law. Originally they were available only to the Crown, but later they were made available to the monarch's subjects through the courts.The prerogative writs are:*certiorari...

s of English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

, such as the writ of mandamus
Mandamus
A writ of mandamus or mandamus , or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".Mandamus is a judicial remedy which...

 and the writ of certiorari
Certiorari
Certiorari is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine, and other law. Certiorari is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare...

. In certain Common Law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 jurisdictions, such as India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 or Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, the power to pass such writs is a Constitutionally guaranteed power. This power is seen as fundamental to the power of judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 and an aspect of the independent judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

.

United States

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, many government agencies
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 are organized under the executive branch
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 of government, although a few are part of the judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 or legislative branches
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

.

In the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, the executive branch, led by the president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, controls the federal executive departments
United States Federal Executive Departments
The United States federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States—the Departments of State, War, and the Treasury all being established within a few weeks of each other in 1789.Federal executive...

, which are led by secretaries who are members of the United States Cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

. The many important independent agencies of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States federal government are those agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments...

 created by statutes enacted by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 exist outside of the federal executive departments but are still part of the executive branch.

Congress has also created some special judicial bodies known as Article I tribunals
Article I and Article III tribunals
In the United States, the American legal system includes both state courts and United States federal courts. The federal tribunals may be an Article III tribunal or another adjudicative body classified as an Article I or an Article IV tribunal...

 to handle some areas of administrative law.

The actions of executive agencies and independent agencies are the main focus of American administrative law. In response to the rapid creation of new independent agencies in the early twentieth century (see discussion below), Congress enacted the Administrative Procedure Act
Administrative Procedure Act
The Administrative Procedure Act , , is the United States federal law that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review...

 (APA) in 1946. Many of the independent agencies operate as miniature versions of the tripartite federal government, with the authority to "legislate" (through rulemaking
Rulemaking
In administrative law, rulemaking refers to the process that executive and independent agencies use to create, or promulgate, regulations. In general, legislatures first set broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then agencies create more detailed regulations through rulemaking.By bringing...

; see Federal Register
Federal Register
The Federal Register , abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies...

 and Code of Federal Regulations
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government of the United States.The CFR is published by the Office of the Federal Register, an agency...

), "adjudicate"
Adjudication
Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved....

 (through administrative hearings), and to "execute" administrative goals (through agency enforcement personnel). Because the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 sets no limits on this tripartite authority of administrative agencies
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

, Congress enacted the APA
Administrative Procedure Act
The Administrative Procedure Act , , is the United States federal law that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review...

 to establish fair administrative law procedures to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

.

The American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...

's official journal concerning administrative law is the Administrative Law Review
Administrative Law Review
The Administrative Law Review was established in 1948 and is the official law journal of the American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice.-Overview:...

, a quarterly publication that is managed and edited by students at the Washington College of Law
Washington College of Law
American University Washington College of Law is the law school of American University. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue in the Spring Valley neighborhood of northwest Washington. WCL is ranked 50th among law schools by US News and World Report...

.

Historical development

Stephen Breyer
Stephen Breyer
Stephen Gerald Breyer is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and known for his pragmatic approach to constitutional law, Breyer is generally associated with the more liberal side of the Court....

, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice since 1994, divides the history of administrative law in the United States into six discrete periods, according to his book, Administrative Law & Regulatory Policy (3d Ed., 1992):
  • English antecedents & the American experience to 1875
  • 1875 - 1930: the rise of regulation & the traditional model of administrative law
  • The New Deal
  • 1945 - 1965: the Administrative Procedure Act
    Administrative Procedure Act
    The Administrative Procedure Act , , is the United States federal law that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review...

     & the maturation of the traditional model of administrative law
  • 1965 - 1985: critique and transformation of the administrative process
  • 1985 - ?: retreat or consolidation

Agriculture

The agricultural sector is one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the U.S. economy, as it is regulated in various ways at the international, federal, state, and local levels. Consequently, administrative law is a significant component of the discipline of Agricultural Law
Agricultural law
Agricultural law, sometimes referred to as Ag Law, deals with law on Agricultural infrastructure, seed, water, fertilizer, pesticide, etc.; Law on agricultural finance, Law on agricultural labour; agricultural marketing; Agricultural insurance, Farming rights, Land tenure and tenancy system and law...

. The United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 and its myriad agencies such as the Agricultural Marketing Service are the primary sources of regulatory activity, although other administrative bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency play a significant regulatory role as well.

Administrative law in civil law countries

Unlike most Common-law jurisdictions, the majority of civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 jurisdictions have specialized courts or sections to deal with administrative cases which, as a rule, will apply procedural rules specifically designed for such cases and different from that applied in private-law proceedings, such as contract
Contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

 or tort
Tort
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general...

 claims.

France

In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, most claims against the national or local governments are handled by administrative court
Administrative court
Greece, as a civil law country has administrative courts. The establishment of those courts can be found in article 94 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic 1975, as revised in 2001. The administrative courts are composed from districts Courts of First Instance, district Courts of Appeal and...

s, which use the Conseil d'État (State Council) as a court of last resort. The main administrative courts are the "Tribunaux Administratifs" and appeal courts are the "Cours Administratives d'Appel".

Germany

Administrative law in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, called “Verwaltungsrecht”:de:Verwaltungsrecht (Deutschland), generally rules the relationship between authorities and the citizens and therefore, it establishes citizens’ rights and obligations against the
authorities. It is a part of the public law, which deals with the organization, the tasks and the acting of the public administration. It also contains rules, regulations, orders and decisions created by and related to administrative agencies, such as federal agencies, federal state authorities, urban administrations, but also admission offices and fiscal authorities etc. Administrative law in Germany follows three basic principles.
  • Principle of the legality of the authority, which means that there is no acting against the law and no acting without a law.
  • Principle of legal security, which includes a principle of legal certainty and the principle of nonretroactivity
  • Principle of proportionality, which says that an act of an authority has to be suitable, necessary and appropriate


The administrative law in Germany can be divided into three main parts, which are constitutional law,
general administrative law and special administrative law.
  • 1. Constitutional Law


The constitutional law in Germany is ruled in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German Grundgesetz, [GG]) from 23.05.1949. The first nineteen articles of the “Grundgesetz” represent the constitution in narrower sense and determine the fundamental rights of German citizens. Articles 20 to 146 GG regulate the organization of Germany and legitimize and rule its bodies such as German Bundestag
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

, Bundesrat of Germany
Bundesrat of Germany
The German Bundesrat is a legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder of Germany at the federal level...

 or the government and the legislation based on the constitution. Article 20 I GG is exceptionally significant for the basic organization of Germany. It determines that Germany is a federal state. That implies the several individual states to be interconnected in such a way, that they still keep their own sovereignty; but the resulting compound also has state-character (Bundesstaat). In contrast to the European Union, which is a community (confederation) of 27 sovereign countries without state-character [at the moment] (Staatenbund). The welfare state principle, which obliged the state to ensure a rightful social system, can be also
derived from Art. 20 I GG.
  • 2. General Administrative Law


The general administration law is basically ruled in the Administrative Procedures Law (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz [VwVfG]). Other legal sources are the Rules of the Administrative Courts (Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung [VwGO]), the social security code (Sozialgesetzbuch [SGB]) and the general fiscal law (Abgabenordnung [AO]).
  • 2.1 Administrative Procedures Law


The Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (VwVfG), which was enacted in 1977, regulates the main administrative procedures of the federal government. It serves the purpose to ensure a treatment in accordance with the rule of law by the public authority. Furthermore, it contains the regulations for mass processes and expands the legal protection against the authorities. The VwVfG basically applies for the entire public administrative activities of federal agencies as well as federal state authorities, in case of making federal law. One of the central clause is § 35 VwVfG. It defines the administrative act, the most common form of action in which the public administration occurs against a citizen. The definition in § 35 http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/vwvfg/__35.html says, that an administration act is characterized by the following features:

It is an official act of an authority in the field of public law to resolve an individual case with effect to the outside.

§§ 36 – 39, §§ 58 – 59 and § 80 VwVfG rule the structure and the necessary elements of the
administrative act. § 48 and § 49 VwVfG have a high relevance in practice, as well. In these
paragraphs, the prerequisites for redemption of an unlawful administration act (§ 48 VwVfG http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/vwvfg/__48.html) and
withdrawal of a lawful administration act (§ 49 VwVfG http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/vwvfg/__49.html), are listed.
  • 2.2 Other legal sources


Administration procedural law (Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung [VwVGo]), which was enacted in 1960, rules the court procedures at the administrative court. The VwVGo is divided into five parts, which are the constitution of the courts, action, remedies and retrial, costs and enforcement15 and final clauses and temporary arrangements.

In absence of a rule, the VwVGO is supplemented by the code of civil procedure (Zivilprozessordnung [ZPO]) and the judicature act (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz [GVG]). In addition to the regulation of the administrative procedure, the VwVfG also constitutes the legal protection in administrative law beyond the court procedure. §68 VwVGO rules the preliminary proceeding, called “Vorverfahren” or “Widerspruchsverfahren”, which is a stringent prerequisite for the administrative procedure, if an action for rescission or a writ of mandamus against an authority is aimed. The preliminary proceeding gives each citizen, feeling unlawfully mistreated by an authority, the possibility to object and to force a review of an administrative act without going to court. The prerequisites to open the public law remedy are listed in § 40 I VwGO. Therefore, it is necessary to have the existence of a conflict in public law without any constitutional aspects and no assignment to another jurisdiction.

The social security code (Sozialgesetzbuch [SGB]) and the general fiscal law are less important for the administrative law. They supplement the VwVfG and the VwGO in the fields of taxation and social legislation, such as social welfare or financial support for students (BaFÖG) etc.
  • 3. Special Administrative Law


The special administrative law consists of various laws. Each special sector has its own law. The most important ones are the
  • Town and Country Planning Code (Baugesetzbuch [BauGB])
  • Federal Control of Pollution Act (Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz [BImSchG])
  • Industrial Code (Gewerbeordnung [GewO])
  • Police Law (Polizei- und Ordnungsrecht)
  • Statute Governing Restaurants (Gaststättenrecht [GastG]).


In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the highest administrative court for most matters is the federal administrative court Bundesverwaltungsgericht. There are federal courts with special jurisdiction in the fields of social security law (Bundessozialgericht) and tax law (Bundesfinanzhof).

The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, administrative law provisions are usually contained in separate laws. There is however a single General Administrative Law Act ("Algemene wet bestuursrecht" or Awb) that applies both to the making of administrative decisions and the judicial review of these decisions in courts. On the basis of the Awb, citizens can oppose a decision ('besluit') made by a public body ('bestuursorgaan') within the administration and apply for judicial review in courts if unsuccessful.

Unlike France or Germany, there are no special administrative courts of first instance in the Netherlands, but regular courts have an administrative "chamber" which specializes in administrative appeals. The courts of appeal in administrative cases however are specialized depending on the case, but most administrative appeals end up in the judicial section of the Council of State (Raad van State).

In addition to the system described above there is another part of administrative law which is called "administratief beroep" (administrative appeal
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

). This procedure is available only if the law on which the primary decision is based specifically provides for it and involves an appeal to a higher ranking administrative body. If administrative appeal
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

 is available, no appeal to the judicial system may be made.

Sweden

In Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, there is a system of administrative courts that considers only administrative law cases, and is completely separate from the system of general courts. This system has three tiers, with 12 county administrative courts (förvaltningsrätt) as the first tier, four administrative courts of appeal (kammarrätt) as the second tier, and the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden
Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden
The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden is the supreme court and the third and final tier for administrative court cases in Sweden, and is located in Stockholm...

 (Regeringsrätten) as the third tier.

Migration cases are handled in a two-tier system, effectively within the system general administrative courts. Three of the administrative courts serve as migration courts (migrationsdomstol) with the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm serving as the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen).

Brazil

In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, unlike most Civil-law jurisdictions, there is no specialized court or section to deal with administrative cases. In 1998, a constitutional reform, led by the government of the President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Fernando Henrique Cardoso – also known by his initials FHC – was the 34th President of the Federative Republic of Brazil for two terms from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2002. He is an accomplished sociologist, professor and politician...

, introduced regulatory agencies as a part of the executive branch. Since 1988, Brazilian administrative law has been strongly influenced by the judicial interpretations of the constitutional principles of public administration (art. 37 of Federal Constitution): legality, impersonality, publicity of administrative acts, morality and efficiency...

Chile

The President of the Republic
President of Chile
The President of the Republic of Chile is both the head of state and the head of government of the Republic of Chile. The President is responsible of the government and state administration...

 exercises the administrative function, in collaboration with several Ministries or other authorities with ministerial rank. Each Ministry has one or more under-secretary that performs through public services
Public services
Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly or by financing private provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income...

 the actual satisfaction of public needs. There is not a single specialized court
Administrative court
Greece, as a civil law country has administrative courts. The establishment of those courts can be found in article 94 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic 1975, as revised in 2001. The administrative courts are composed from districts Courts of First Instance, district Courts of Appeal and...

 to deal with actions against the Administrative entities, but instead there are several specialized courts and procedures of review.

People's Republic of China

Administrative law in the People's Republic of China was virtually non-existent before the economic reform era initiated by Deng Xiaoping. Since the 1980s, the People's Republic of China has constructed a new legal framework for administrative law, establishing control mechanisms for overseeing the bureaucracy and disciplinary committees for the Communist Party of China. However, many have argued that the usefulness of these laws is vastly inadequate in terms of controlling government actions, largely because of institutional and systemic obstacles like a weak judiciary, poorly trained judges and lawyers, and corruption.

In 1990, the Administrative Supervision Regulations (行政检查条例) and the Administrative Reconsideration Regulations (行政复议条例) were passed. Both regulations have since been amended and upgraded into laws. The 1993 State Civil Servant Provisional Regulations (国家公务员暂行条例) changed the way government officials were selected and promoted, requiring that they pass exams and yearly appraisals, and introduced a rotation system. In 1994, the State Compensation Law (国家赔偿法) was passed, followed by the Administrative Penalties Law (行政处罚法) in 1996.

Ukraine

As a homogeneous legal substance isolated in a system of jurisprudence, the administrative law of Ukraine is characterized as: 1) a branch of law; 2) a science; 3) a discipline.

See also

  • Administrative Law Review
    Administrative Law Review
    The Administrative Law Review was established in 1948 and is the official law journal of the American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice.-Overview:...

  • Constitutional law
    Constitutional law
    Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary....

  • Constitutionalism
    Constitutionalism
    Constitutionalism has a variety of meanings. Most generally, it is "a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law"....

  • Rule of law
    Rule of law
    The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

  • Rechtsstaat
    Rechtsstaat
    Rechtsstaat is a concept in continental European legal thinking, originally borrowed from German jurisprudence, which can be translated as "legal state", "state of law", "state of justice", or "state of rights"...

  • Civil society
    Civil society
    Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...


Further reading

  • Davis, Kenneth Culp (1975). Administrative Law and Government. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing.
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