Administrative Law

Administrative Law in the United States

The body of law that concerns the powers of and procedures to be used by administrative agencies. Administrative Law (Judicial Function) also includes the law that creates such agencies and the provisions that define the extent to which agency decisions and practices may be reviewed by the courts. In addition, Administrative Law (Judicial Function) concerns the transfer of power from legislative bodies to administrative agencies. Finally, Administrative Law (Judicial Function) covers the nature of protections afforded those coming under the regulatory authority of administrative agencies.

Administrative Law Definition

That branch of the criminal law which regulates the manner in which the different agencies of the governing body are set in motion to punish crime, as opposed to the penal law, which describes offenses, and prescribes punishments.

Analysis and Relevance

Administrative Law (U.S.) has become increasingly important because of the enormous expansion of administrative decision making in the United States. The increasing use of administrative agencies to regulate and prescribe social as well as economic policy has produced an extensive body of law governing the conduct of individuals and corporate entities. The basic problem of Administrative Law (U.S.) is to create a system of restraints that limits the possibility of arbitrary bureaucratic behavior while at the same time allowing agencies to pursue their policy objectives effectively. (1)

Administrative Bodies

Administrative bodies are created and given power by federal or state legislation. It is the function of administrative law to set forth the extent of this power, the limitations on it, and its applications to private individuals and groups. The law is basically concerned with whether proper standards are applied by administrative agencies in exercising their powers and in making and enforcing regulations. If an agency does not apply the proper standards, its failure may be redressed by application to the courts. Although a court may not substitute its own judgment for that of the agency in determining whether a given regulation is desirable, the court may declare the regulation a nullity if the agency, by promulgating such a regulation, has exceeded the authority conferred by the legislature. In determining that a regulation has been violated, substantial proof is required, but the agency is not bound by the laws of evidence that apply in court trials.

With the multiplication of federal administrative agencies in the U.S. during the 1930s, a means of making administrative regulations reasonably accessible to the public became necessary. The Federal Register Act (1935) provides that all federal regulations must be published in the Federal Register; a regulation that is not published in this manner is not binding upon persons who are unaware of its existence. Periodically, all federal regulations still in force must be codified and published in a compilation called the Code of Federal Regulations. The Administrative Procedures Act (1946) provides that before a federal agency promulgates a general regulation, interested parties must be afforded an opportunity to present their views. Another safeguard is that the investigation and prosecution of alleged violations may not be undertaken by the same persons who will render the judgment. (2)

Administrative law topics

Administrative law deals with the exercise of public power and the control of government decisions . Topics in administrative law include the role of the State, the governmental structures that influence the administrative law system, the principles of good administration, the protection of individual rights, freedom of information legislation, grounds of review of administrative decisions (in particular procedural fairness, ultra vires and jurisdictional error); remedies available upon judicial review, (including prerogative writs and equitable remedies), internal and external review of administration decisions (including the administrative appeals mechanisms); the judicial review (including principles expressed in judicial review, like procedural fairness); public law issues such as justifiability, standing and rule-making; and the public/private divide.

An important point is the existence of various mechanisms designed to achieve accountability on the part of officials who exercise broad discretionary powers. Judicial review ensures supervision by the executive arm of government of decisions made by the executive. Accountability of the executive is also achieved through other mechanisms such as the role of the ombudsman, freedom of information legislation, and privacy and anti-corruption legislation.).

Administrative law also deals with the rights of the individual in dealing with government, including the ideals of preservation of order, the welfare of the citizen, natural justice and the rights of the individual in contrast to governmental power.

Civil law countries often have specialized courts, administrative courts, that review these decisions. United States administrative law encompasses a number of statutes and cases which define the extent of the powers and responsibilities held by administrative agencies of the United States Government.

When, in general, a Ruling is an official or authoritative determination, statement, or interpretation (as by a judge on a question of law), in administrative law, a ruling is an interpretation or decision by an administrative agency.

Administrative Law Journals

Administrative Law Review is the official quarterly publication of the American Bar Association”s Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, published in coordination with American University Washington College of Law. The Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary is a publication of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, published in coordination with Pepperdine University School of Law. The Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal specializes in administrative law topics.

Concept of Administrative Law

In the U.S., in the context of Judiciary power and branch, Administrative Law has the following meaning: Administrative law is concerned with the substance and procedures of executive branch rule making, regulatory enforcement, and adjudication of disputes handled by administrative agencies rather than the courts. An administrative-law judge is a government official with quasi-judicial powers, including the authority to conduct hearings, make findings of fact, and recommend resolution of disputes concerning an executive branch agency’s actions. (Source of this definition of Administrative Law : University of Texas)

Administrative Law

Basic Meaning of Administrative Law

Administrative Law means: that body of law created by Federal and State administrative agencies to implement their powers and duties in the form of rules, regulations, orders and decisions (e.g. , OSHA, FTC, state board rules and regulations).

Administrative Law: Summary

In this entry, Administrative Law covers:

  • Delegation
  • Rulemaking: Informal and Formal
  • 69 Federal Register 16873-01
  • Adjudication
  • Judicial Review
  • Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations of Law
  • Open Meetings
  • Freedom of Information

Administrative Law: Main Elements

The coverage of Administrative Law includes the following main elements:

Delegation

Find out an overview of this topic, in relation to Administrative Law, in the legal Ecyclopedia.

Rulemaking: Informal and Formal

There is information on this basic subject in the legal Ecyclopedia.

69 Federal Register 16873-01

Find out an overview of this issue following this link (topic).

Adjudication

There is information on this basic subject matter in this legal reference.

Judicial Review

Find out an overview of this topic in the legal Ecyclopedia.

Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations of Law

There is information on this basic subject in this reference work.

Open Meetings

For information on this issue, please click here (subject).

Freedom of Information

There is information on this basic subject matter in this legal reference.

References

See Also

  • Administrative Law

Administrative Law

Finding the law: Administrative Law in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to administrative law, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines administrative law topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.

Resources

Further Reading

  • Absolute power (letter), Burrage, Jeanette, 80: 295 (May-June ’97, AJS Judicature)
  • Adapting the Central Panel System: A Study of Seven States, Rich, Malcolm, 65: 246-256 (Nov. ’81, AJS Judicature)
  • An agency and 12 courts: Social Security disability cases in the U.S. courts of appeals, Haire, Susan and Lindquist, Stefanie, 80: 230-236 (Mar.-Apr. ’97, AJS Judicature)
  • Author’s Reply (letter), Mans, Thomas C., 63: 302 (Dec.-Jan. ’80, AJS Judicature)
  • Bureaucratic Efficiency vs. Bureaucratic Justice: Administrative Law Judges in the Social Security Administration, Cofer, Donna Price, 71: 29-35 (Jun.-Jul. ’87, AJS Judicature)
  • Can the State Court Experience Guide Efforts to Improve the Federal System? (query), Heflin, Howell, 63: 258-261, 302 (Dec.-Jan. ’80, AJS Judicature)
  • The Central Panel System: A Framework That Separates ALJs from Administrative Agencies, Levinson, L. Harold, 65: 236-245 (Nov. ’81, AJS Judicature)
  • The Central Panel System: Enhancing Administrative Justice, Rosenblum, Victor, 65: 235 (Nov. ’81, AJS Judicature)
  • Central Panels of Administrative Law Judges: An Introduction (introduction), Rich, Malcolm, 65: 233-234 (Nov. ’81, AJS Judicature)
  • Challenges to the Gatekeeper: The Debate Over Federal Litigating Authority, Olson, Susan M., 68: 70-86 (Aug.-Sep. ’84, AJS Judicature)
  • Congress Hears Proposals for Performance Reviews of ALJs (news), Author, No, 63: 144 (Sep. ’79, AJS Judicature)
  • E-mail focuses on administrative law (brief), Brief, AJS, 82: 188 (Jan.-Feb. ’99, AJS Judicature)
  • Making Administrative Proceedings More Efficient and Effective: How the ALJ Central Panel System Works in Minnesota, Harves, Duane R., 65: 257-265 (Nov. ’81, AJS Judicature)
  • Merit Selection of Federal Administrative Law Judges, Sharon, Amiel T. and Pettibone, Craig B., 70: 216-222 (Dec.-Jan. ’87, AJS Judicature)
  • On Social Security ALJs (letter), Brown, Ainsworth, 63: 301-302 (Dec.-Jan. ’80, AJS Judicature)
  • Perceptions of fairness in state administrative hearings, McNeil, Christopher B., 92: 160-164 (4, AJS Judicature)
  • Professor Olson Responds (letter), Olson, Susan M., 68: 305 (Feb.-Mar. ’85, AJS Judicature)
  • Public access and media rules for administrative adjudicators in high profile hearings, McNeil, Christopher B., 91: 298-303 (May-Jun ’08, AJS Judicature)
  • The Question of Independence Continues: Administrative Law Judges Within the Social Security Administration, Cofer, Donna Price, 69: 228-235 (Dec.-Jan. ’86, AJS Judicature)
  • Selecting the Hidden Judiciary: How the Merit Process Works in Choosing Administrative Law Judges (Part I), Mans, Thomas C., 63: 60-73 (Aug. ’79, AJS Judicature)
  • Selecting the Hidden Judiciary: How the Merit Process Works in Choosing Administrative Law Judges (Part II), Mans, Thomas C., 63: 130-143 (Sep. ’79, AJS Judicature)
  • Setting forensic science on a new path (editorial), No, Author, 92: 188, 249 (5, AJS Judicature)
  • Should Federal Administrative Law Judges Be Independent of Their Agencies? (query), Heflin, Howell, 67: 369, 412-413 (Mar. ’84, AJS Judicature)
  • State Administrative Law Adjudication: Idaho’s Private Pool Approach, Doyle, Richard B., 69: 224-227 (Dec.-Jan. ’86, AJS Judicature)
  • Supreme Court review of federal administrative agencies, Kilwein, John C. and Brisbin, Richard A., Jr., 80: 130-137 (Nov.-Dec. ’96, AJS Judicature)
  • Survey of Hawaii judges explores disqualification and recusal issues (focus), No, Author, 92: 34-36 (1, AJS Judicature)
  • The Ultimate Loser (letter), Seale, Steve, 71: 132 (Oct.-Nov. ’87, AJS Judicature)
  • A Unified Corps of ALJs: A Proposal to Test the Idea at the Federal Level, Lubbers, Jeffrey S., 65: 266-276 (Nov. ’81, AJS Judicature)
  • Who Makes Policy? (letter), Troutman, Charles H., 68: 304-305 (Feb.-Mar. ’85, AJS Judicature)
  • Resources

    See Also

    • Judiciary Power
    • Judiciary Branch

    Basic Meaning of Administrative Law

    Administrative Law means: that body of law created by Federal and State administrative agencies to implement their powers and duties in the form of rules, regulations, orders and decisions (e.g. , OSHA, FTC, state board rules and regulations).

    Administrative Law: Summary

    In this entry, Administrative Law covers:

    • Delegation
    • Rulemaking: Informal and Formal
    • 69 Federal Register 16873-01
    • Adjudication
    • Judicial Review
    • Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations of Law
    • Open Meetings
    • Freedom of Information

    Administrative Law: Main Elements

    The coverage of Administrative Law includes the following main elements:

    Delegation

    Find out an overview of this topic, in relation to Administrative Law, in the legal Ecyclopedia.

    Rulemaking: Informal and Formal

    There is information on this basic subject in the legal Ecyclopedia.

    69 Federal Register 16873-01

    Find out an overview of this issue following this link (topic).

    Adjudication

    There is information on this basic subject matter in this legal reference.

    Judicial Review

    Find out an overview of this topic in the legal Ecyclopedia.

    Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations of Law

    There is information on this basic subject in this reference work.

    Open Meetings

    For information on this issue, please click here (subject).

    Freedom of Information

    There is information on this basic subject matter in this legal reference.

    References

    See Also

    • Administrative Law

    Resources

    Notes and References

    1. Definition of Administrative Law from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California
    2. Encarta Online Encyclopedia

    See Also

    Further Reading

    • Avgoustinos C, Administrative Law (Zortonomy Core Law Student Collection, 2011)
    • Cane P and McDonald L, Principles of Administrative Law (OUP, 2008)
    • Cane P and McDonald L, Cases and Materials for Principles of Administrative Law (OUP, 2009)
    • Reilly A, Appleby G, Grenfell L and Lacey W, Australian Public Law (OUP, 2011)
    • Blackshield T, Douglas R and Williams G, Public Law in Australia (Federation Press, 2010)
      •Sanson M, Statutory Interpretation (OUP, 2012)
    • Pearce DC and Geddes RS, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (LexisNexis, 2011)
    • Pearce D and Argument S, Delegated Legislation in Australia (LexisNexis, 2012)
    • Kelly MRLL, Pearson Law Briefs: Administrative Law (2009)
    • Head M, Administrative Law: Context and Critique (Federation Press, 2012)
    • Aronson M, Dyer B & Groves M, Judicial Review of Administrative Action (4th ed, Lawbook Co, 2008)
    • Esparraga F and Ellis-Jones I, Administrative Law Guidebook (OUP, 2010)
    • Lane W B and Young S, Administrative Law in Australia, Thomson Lawbook Co, 2007
    • Moshinsky N; Williams D, Butterworths Annotated Acts: Annotated Administrative Appeals Legislation (2004)
    • Douglas R, Douglas and Jones’s Administrative Law (6th ed, Federation Press, 2009)
    • Creyke R, Tribunals in the Common Law World, (Federation Press 2009)
    • Ellis-Jones I, Essential Administrative Law, (3rd ed, Cavendish, 2003)
    • William Funk, J.D., Administrative Procedure and Practice: Problems and Cases, Thomson West, 3rd ed., 2006.
    • William Funk, J.D., Administrative Law: Examples and Explanations, Aspen Publishers, 2nd ed., 2006.
    • Creyke R and Sutherland P, Veterans’ Entitlements Law, (2nd ed, Federation Press, 2008)
    • Douglas R and Jones M, Administrative Law: Commentary & Materials (5th edn, Federation Press, 2006)
    • Forbes JRS, Justice in Tribunals (2nd ed, Federation Press, 2006)
    • McKenzie F, Administrative Power and the Law (practitioner copy), (LexisNexis 2006)
    • McKenzie F, Administrative Power and the Law (student copy), (LexisNexis 2006)
    • Pearce D, Administrative Appeals Tribunal, (LexisNexis 2007)

    Web resources in Administrative Law:

    ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
    ABA Administrative & Regulatory Law News
    Administrative Codes and Registers Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State
    Administrative Conference of the United States
    Administrative Law (Wex)
    Administrative Law Guide
    Administrative Law Research (Law Library, University of Washington School of Law)
    Agency Index
    American Bar Association – Administrative Law News
    Association of Administrative Law Judges
    The Council of State Governments
    Electronic Privacy Information Center
    Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference
    Federal Administrative Procedure Act
    Federal Web Locator (Villanova University)
    FOIA Administrative and Legal Contacts at Federal Agencies
    House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
    Internet Access to Administrative Rules and Codes
    Judicial Administration (Wex)
    Megalaw”s Administrative Law Links
    National Association of Secretaries of State
    National Conference of Administrative Law Judges
    Office of Administrative Law Judges (U.S. Department of Labor)
    Program on Law and State Government, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis
    U.S. Federal Government Agencies

    Research Guides & Pathfinders

    Code of Federal Regulations & Federal Register (Washburn University Law Library)
    Regulations Research
    Barbie Selby, University of Virginia Law Library, 1999

    Administrative Law in the United States

    United States Constitution

    According to the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, about its article titled ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, “Administrative law” describes the legal structure of much of the executive branch of government, particularly the quasi-independent agencies, and the procedural constraints under which they operate. Most of these constraints are statutory; those that do involve the Constitution (read more about Constitutional law entries here).

    Administrative Law in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

    Link Description
    Administrative Law Administrative Law in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
    Administrative Law Administrative Law in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
    Administrative Law Administrative Law in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
    Administrative Law Administrative Law in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
    Administrative Law Administrative Law in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

    Back to Top

    Administrative Law in the Context of Law Research

    The Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library defined briefly Administrative Law as: The law governing the organization and operation of the executive branch of government (including independent agencies) and the relations of the executive legislature, the judiciary and the public.Legal research resources, including Administrative Law, help to identify the law that governs an activity and to find materials that explain that law.

Administrative Law: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Administrative Law. This part provides references, in relation to Administrative Law, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Administrative Law by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Administrative Law and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Administrative Law or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Administrative Law and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Administrative Law. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Administrative Law should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Administrative Law when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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1 thought on “Administrative Law”

  1. Administrative Law:

    Administrative law is the law of regulations passed by administrative agencies. This is the law that “fleshes out” the statutory law and deals with particular issues for which Congress lacks the time or the expertise. The two major forms of administrative law are regulations (rules created by administrative agencies) and rulings (or quasi-judicial decisions) by administrative agencies or administrative-law courts (usually with some method of appeal by a law court available).

    The ABA Administrative Procedure Database, hosted by Florida State University College of Law, provides many links focused on state and federal administrative law, especially on the procedural rules of various administrative hearings: law.fsu.edu/library/admin/

    Federal administrative regulations are published first in the daily Federal Register, and are then codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (which is the regulatory analog to the statutory U.S. Code). The Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations are both available through GPO Access. Go to http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ and select “Regulatory”, in the left column. Although there are guides to each document, that are made available with the web versions, you may have an easier time asking a law librarian to help you with the print editions. One thing that might help is to remember that the Code of Federal Regulations is a functional cousin of the U.S. Code – it is divided into titles and ordered by subject – and the Federal Register, like session laws, is published chronologically.

    Some links to federal administrative decisions are also available through GPO Access. Go to http://www.access.gpo.gov/ and select “Administrative decisions” in the left column.

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