The Growth of Administrative Law: Administrative Law Notes

The Growth of Administrative Law: Administrative Law Notes- prolawctor


The Growth of Administrative Law : In 1885 Albert Venn Dicey, a British jurist, rejected the whole concept of Administrative law. Until the 20th Century, Administrative law was not accepted as a separate branch of law. The Lord Donoughmore Committee, in 1929, recommended for better publication and control of subordinate legislation. In 1958, Tribunals and Inquiries Act was passed for better control and supervision of Administrative Decisions.

Breen v Amalgamated Engineering Union (1971] 2 QB 175 was the first case wherein the existence of Administrative law in the United Kingdom was declared.


In the United States of America, the existence of administrative law and its growth was ignored until it grew up to become the fourth branch of the State. By then many legal scholars like Frank Goodnow and Ernst Freund had already authored a few books on Administrative law. It was in 1933 that a special committee was appointed to determine how judicial control over administrative agencies could be exercised. Thereafter, in 1946 The Administrative Procedure Act was passed which provided for judicial control over administrative action.


The Mauryans and the Guptas of ancient India had a centralised administrative system. It the coming of the British that Administrative law in India went was with through a few changes. Legislations regulating administrative actions were passed in British India. 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 were to be declared ultra vires, unconstitutional, illegal and void.


1. The concept of a welfare state – As the States changed their nature from laissez-faire to that of a welfare state, government activities increased and thus the need to regulate the same. Thus, this branch of law developed.

2. The inadequacy of legislature – The legislature has no time to legislate upon the day-to-day ever-changin needs of the society. Even if it does, the lengthy and time-taking legislating procedure would render the rul so legislated of no use as the needs would have changed by the time the rule is implemented.

3. The inefficiency of Judiciary – The judicial procedure of adjudicating matters is very slow, costly complex and formal. Furthermore, there are so many cases already lined up that speedy disposal of suites is not possible. Hence, the need for tribunals arose.

4. Scope for the experiment – As administrative law is not a codified law there is a scope of modifying it as p the requirement of the State machinery. Hence, it is more flexible. The rigid legislation procedures need not be followed again and again.

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