administrative law | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

Administrative law is the body of law that regulates the activities and procedures of government agencies.

Administrative law is a branch of law that governs the behavior and activities of administrative agencies of the government. Administrative agencies are created by the legislative branch of government to carry out specific functions, such as enforcing regulations, providing services, and issuing licenses. They are typically given a certain degree of autonomy to ensure that they can operate efficiently, and their decisions can have significant impacts on individuals and businesses. Administrative law provides a framework for the operation and regulation of these agencies.

One of the main functions of administrative law is to establish a system of rules and regulations that guide the actions of government agencies. These rules and regulations are created through a process of notice and comment rulemaking, which allows interested parties to provide input on proposed rules before they are finalized. Once rules are in place, administrative law provides a mechanism for individuals and businesses to challenge agency decisions that they believe are improper or unfair.

They also govern the procedures that agencies must follow when making decisions or taking action. For example, agencies are typically required to provide notice and an opportunity for public comment before making major policy decisions. They may also be required to hold hearings to allow affected individuals or businesses to present evidence and arguments.

One important aspect of administrative law is judicial review. Under the doctrine of judicial review, courts have the authority to review the decisions of administrative agencies to ensure that they comply with the law and are not arbitrary or capricious. This review may involve examining the agency’s decision-making process, the evidence used to support the decision and the agency’s interpretation of the law.

Overall, administrative law plays a critical role in ensuring that government agencies operate in a fair and transparent manner. By establishing rules and procedures for agency decision-making, providing mechanisms for challenging agency actions, and providing for judicial review, this body of law helps to protect the rights and interests of individuals and businesses that are affected by government actions.

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Last Modified: 04/09/2023


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