Administrative Law


According to the definition of Sir Ivon Jennings” Administrative Law can be defined as a law relating to administration. It determines the organization, powers and duties of administrative authorities.” According to Britanica,

Administrative law, the legal framework within which public administration is carried out. It derives from the need to create and develop a system of public administration under law, a concept that may be compared with the much older notion of justice under law. Since administration involves the exercise of power by the executive arm of government , administrative law is of constitutional and political, as well as juridical in nature.

Austin has defined administrative law as one which determines the ends and modes to which the sovereign power shall be exercised. According to him sovereign power should be either exercised directly by the monarch or entrusted to subordinate political agents holding a position of trust.

Holland regards Administrative law as “one of the six divisions of public law”.

Bernard Schawartz has defined it to be the law applicable to those administrative agencies which possess adjudicatory authority of a delegated legislation.

The three main stages led to the expansion of the meaning of the term Administrative law-
1. Laissez Faire

2. Dogma of Collectivism

3. Social-Welfare State

Indian context:

The moving of a state from the laissez faire to welfare state.

Administration has been in the forefront in indian history.Akbar and Ashoka’s court provide classic examples of the same.Later on the British administration was adapted and embibed in India.After independence, After independence, India adopted to become a welfare state, which henceforth increased the state activities. As the activities and powers of the Government and administrative authorities increased so did the need for ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Judicial Review of State actions’.

Henceforth, if rules, regulations and orders passed by the administrative authorities were found to be beyond the authorities legislative powers then such orders, rules and regulations.