Administrative law is a branch of law that deals with the legal principles and procedures that govern the activities and decisions of administrative agencies and government officials. It is concerned with the exercise of power by government bodies, including executive agencies, tribunals, boards, and commissions, and the legal rights and duties of individuals and organizations affected by their decisions.
Administrative law is a broad field that encompasses a range of legal principles and concepts, including procedural fairness, natural justice, due process, judicial review, and the scope of administrative discretion. It governs the way that administrative agencies make decisions, conduct investigations, issue regulations, and interact with the public.
There are several reasons for the growth of administrative law:
- The expansion of government: As governments have become more involved in social and economic affairs, they have created a wide range of administrative agencies and institutions to administer public policies and programs, and to regulate various sectors of the economy. This has led to an increase in administrative decision-making and a corresponding growth in administrative law.
- Delegation of powers: Many governments have delegated powers to administrative agencies and officials to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the government. This delegation of powers has resulted in a need for legal rules and principles to regulate the exercise of these powers, and to ensure that they are exercised in accordance with the law.
- Complexity of government decision-making: Many government decisions are complex and technical, involving specialized knowledge and expertise. Administrative agencies and officials are often better equipped than courts to make these decisions, which has led to an increase in administrative decision-making and a corresponding growth in administrative law.
- Need for accountability: Administrative law provides a framework for accountability in government decision-making. By setting out legal principles and procedures for administrative decision-making, administrative law ensures that government agencies and officials are accountable to the public and that their decisions are subject to review and scrutiny.
- Need for transparency: Administrative law promotes transparency in government decision-making. By requiring administrative agencies and officials to provide reasons for their decisions and to disclose relevant information, administrative law ensures that government decision-making is transparent and open to public scrutiny.
- Protection of individual rights: Administrative law protects the rights of individuals and organizations affected by government decisions. By providing a framework for procedural fairness, due process, and judicial review, administrative law ensures that individuals and organizations have access to legal remedies when their rights are infringed by government decisions.
Overall, the growth of administrative law can be attributed to the increasing involvement of government in social and economic affairs, the delegation of powers to administrative agencies and officials, the complexity of government decision-making, the need for accountability and transparency in government decision-making, and the need to protect individual rights.