Introduction and the concept o administrative law, its meaning, definition, objects, nature, functions, sources, theories and need.
History and Growth of Administrative law in UK, US, France and India.
2. TOPICS COVERED:
• Need for Its Evolution
• History and Growth of Administrative Law in United Kingdom, United
States, France and India
1. IVOR JENNINGS: it is the law relating to administration. It determines the organization, powers and duties of the
CRITISISM: It is too wide definition and does not give clarity as to the powers, procedures and limitation of the
executives. Also, it is too vague to differentiates between constitutional law and administrative law.
2. WADE: It is the law relating to the control of government power.
CRITISISM: It touches the heart (object) of the subject but does not define it. Also, does not deal with the power,
duties, procedure, limitations, control on these powers and the remedies available to the individuals in case of breach.
3. K.C DAVIS: (American approach): It is the law concerning the powers and procedures of the administrative
agencies and it is the law governing the judicial review of the administrative action. According to him, Administrative
agency is a government authority other than a court and legislature which affects the rights of private parties, either
through administrative adjudication or rule making.
CRITISISM: It talks about judicial control only i.e. judicial review. He missed to include non adjudicative and non
legislative functions of the administrative agency.
4. GARNER: those rules which are recognized by the courts as law and which relate to and regulate administration of
the government is known as administrative law.
CRITISISM: It is concerned about the sources and that too, only one out of many.
5. GRIFFITH & SMITH: It is the law concerning: the powers, limits of the administrative bodies and the includes
the provision as to how to contain them in limits. CRITISISM: the definition is silent on procedure to be carried out
by these bodies and the remedies available to the individuals.
4. MEANING, SOURCES, OBJECT, NATURE AND FUNCTIONS:
1. Administrative law : a public law (as it deals with the relation of state and individuals)
: a branch of constitutional law (as the executive organs derives it power, limits and control from it)
: deals with power, duties, procedures, limits of the administrative bodies and the control on them.
: to check their functions and state the remedies available to the person in case of any breach of rights.
2. Sources : it consists of norms, rules developed by the judiciary to prevent abuse of power such as- judicial review,
principles of natural justice, rule of law, separation of power doctrine, case laws.
: constitutional provisions
: provisions in the Parent Act to regulate their activities.
3. Object : control on power of administrative authorities.
: protect individual rights.
4. Nature : considered as a NECESSARY EVIL as, more powers are given to the executives and there is likeliness
of abuse. In today's world, he is a protector, provider, entrepreneur, regulator and arbiter.
5. Functions: : adjudication
: delegated legislation
: implementation of laws (even in the absence of any statutory back up) and policies.
5. NEED FOR EXPANDED ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS AND RELAtED THEORIES:
• LAISSEZ-FAIRE to WELFARE STATE
• need for adjudicative functions as petty cases can be easily disposed through tribunals due to slow, costly, complex procedure
and overburdened judiciary.
• rules are required at random sometimes and it is easy to make rules on trial and test basis as there is time constraint and
lengthy procedure of the legislature.
• ease in taking preventive measures e.g. grant of license and ease in taking enforcement steps like suspension and cancellation
1. RED LIGHT THEORY: Assumption- Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. therefore, there should be
control (judicial control) on Administrative powers to protect private rights, otherwise it will lead to state absolutism.
2. GREEN LIGHT THEORY: puts emphasis on the political process and suggest for direct and internal control of the
administrative agencies. E.g. decentralization of powers, freedom of information to individuals.
In between, exists the AMBER LIGHT THEORY.
6. HISTORY AND GROWTH OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - UK
• In 1885, DICEY rejected this concept by saying that-'' we know nothing about Administrative law and we wish to know
nothing about it”.
• He observed that there was no administrative law in England but by saying so, he ignored the existence of administrative
discretion of Executive authorities and the Administration of justice by the Tribunals which were already in existence in
England. Also, such powers cannot be called into question by ordinary courts. further, he believed that such principles cannot
be befitted as it violates the RULE OF LAW principle and also abridges SEPERATION OF POWER doctrine.
• His ROL principle included- Supremacy of law (made by Parliament- Parliamentary Supremacy), equality before law and
Supremacy of Ordinary Courts( Predominance of legal spirit)
• He gave reasons : 1) it will be rule of men and not rule of law. 2) law should be made in ordinary legal manner and not by
executives 3) it should be applied by ordinary courts and not through tribunals or executives as the dispute between individual
and state will be headed and decided by executives only. 3) This way, supremacy of the parliament will be undermined 4) and
concentration of that much power in the hands of the executives will lead to corruption. 5) Rights of people must flow from
the customs and traditions recognized by courts (common law)
• In 1887, his contemporary MAITLAND recognized it and said that such powers are committed to them by statutes.
• In 1914, Dicey changed his views-'Laws and the Constitution' book in 1915. He recognized that due to increase of duties and
authority of English officials, some elements of Droit has entered into the law of England. But even then he was not that sure.
After two decisions of HOL in Board of Education v Rise and Local Government v Arlidge, he published Article
'Development of Administrative law in England' and observed that legislation has conferred considerable amount of quasi-
judicial authority on the administration. In his words, this is a considerable step towards the introduction of administrative law
• According to Friedman, he misunderstood the concept as inconsistent with ROL.
• According to Griffith & Smith, he had conservative approach.
• In 1929, Gordon Herwart published a book titled 'New Despotism' criticising Administrative law.
• And after that-Dolomer Committee or Committee on Minister's power headed by Lord Donoughmore (appointed by British
government) was set up to examine the problems of Delegated legislation, delegation of quasi-judicial powers and to suggest
effective steps and suitable safeguards to ensure supremacy of ROL.
• In 1932, committee detected 3 problems: doctrine of sovereign immunity, absence of procedure of delegation and no
description as to what cases should be assigned to the Executives.
• It suggested 2 recommendations: better publication and control of sub-ordinate legislation.
• For this, these acts were Acts were passed : CROWNS PROCEEDINGS ACT 1947 (no sovereign immunity), STATUTORY
INSTRUMENTS ACT 1946, TRIBUNALS & ENQUIRY ACT 1958. Through this, sovereign immunity was restricted,
procedures and subjects of delegation were allotted and such decisions were made amenable to regular courts.
• Crichel Down Affair- British Political Scandal of 1952 were Churchill gave promise to the landowners while taking there
land that he will return it when the war will be over but did not honoured his promise.
• Ridge v Baldwin 1964 AC 40 - we do not have a developed system of administrative law perhaps because until fairly
recently we don't need it.
• Breen v Amalgamated Engg. Union 1971 QB -It may be truly said that we have now a developed system of administrative
law- Lord Denning.
• In India, we have adopted Westminster model but here we don't have separate legislation. in England, the acts of the
executive is questionable if it violates the statute but here the Constitution is supreme and administrative action is amenable
to the court's control if it violates Parent Act, Constitution and principles of Natural Justice.
• They earlier opposed Administrative law as it was in contrast with the strict Separation of power principle. however, they had
written Constitution unlike England therefore they didn't faced much problem.
• Administrative law developed in 18th C in USA
• 1st Federal Administrative law in 1789,Interstate Commerce Act 1877
• 1933- Special Committee, 1938- Roscoe pound Committee and 1939- Attorney General Committee. these committees passed
Administrative Procedure Ac 1946.
• Concept of Administrative law originated from the concept of DROT ADMINISTRATIF. It was the branch of law which
dealt with powers and duties of various administrative agencies and officials.
• Tribunal system and Civil law system is said to be developed by Napoleon.
• According to Dicey, there was no ROL in France as individual is not at equal footing when dealing with the state and the
officials were free from the jurisdiction of ordinary court as they were dealt by Counsel De etat (Tribunal)
• But in actual, counel de etat provided more protection to aggrieved parties than regular court, they were separate court set up
to solve the dispute between state and individuals. And, Dicey confused discretionary powers as arbitrary powers and the
perception that they are above law is erroneous because there was no sovereign immunity to them.
• BARREL CASE- Minister in charge did not permitted few candidates to appear in the Civil Services exam. It was reported in
newspaper that they were communists and that's why deliberately denied. Counsel de etat quashed such order.
• FORTUNE CASE- Candidate was denied to appear in exam as confidential file had adverse remark. Counsel de etat quashed
• Dharma was followed earlier which was broader than ROL and due process.
• Delegated legislation was followed in the British era e.g. Indian Explosive Act 1884 to grant and regulate licenses.
• After Independence, in the infant phase, laissez faire principle was adopted and the role of state was minimal to regulation of
law & order, protection against foreign aggression and adjudicating disputes. This caused hardships to the population who
could hardly fight for their rights such as old people, children, weaker sections etc. The rise of democratic principles called for
the idea of Welfare State. UDHR after 2 World wars also recognised this notion. This led to increased responsibility of the
state but overburden, lack of manpower, time taking legislature and judiciary was incapable to handle, therefore it was handed
over to the executive body.
• Several Acts provided some powers to the executives to make laws such as Factories Act 1948, Essentials Commodities Act,
• Constitution was there to supervise and limit their actions. This was it has emerged in India.
• Ram Jawaya Kapur v state of Punjab 1955- it was held that executives can frame policies and rules provided it does not
violate the constitution.
• P Sampat kumar and L Chandra Kumar case- Tribunal's decision was the highest appeal. the only remedy available was
through Article 136. This was challenged after 10 years and declared unconstitutional.
• Checks in India- Parliamentary Control, Judicial Control and Other Controls. Apart from that there are several other
provisions checking the arbitrary executive actions- CVC, Ombudsman, RTI, Article 299,300, Promissory Estoppel, Lokpal
Administrative Law in India is based on judicial interpretation and it can be said that in absence of any
specific enactment it has become a blessing in disguise because the Supreme Court has included principle
of natural justice reasons equity good conscience principles of constitutional law within the ambit of