Administrative Law Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Administrative Law, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Administrative Law?

n. administrative law is the body originating because of the activities of administrative agencies of government like rulemaking, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. It might also apply to review of decisions of so-called quasi-public bodies, such as non-profit corporations, disciplinary boards, basically those which affect the rights of members of a particular group or entity. It helps regulate government agencies work within constitutional parameters. eg. in USA such laws have been codified into statutes such as the Federal Administrative Procedure Act (FAPA).

History and Meaning of Administrative Law

Administrative law refers to the body of law that regulates the activities of administrative agencies of the government, including rulemaking, enforcement, and adjudication. This branch of law originated in the United States in the late 19th century, as a way to regulate the growing number of administrative agencies and their impact on individual rights. Administrative law is essential for ensuring that government agencies work within constitutional parameters and that the rights of citizens are protected.

Examples of Administrative Law

  1. A company files a complaint against a government agency for over-regulating their industry. The administrative law courts review the agency’s decision to ensure that it is within its legal powers and follows established procedures.

  2. A business owner is seeking a permit from a local government agency. The agency is subject to administrative law, which means it must provide a clear explanation of its decision to grant or deny the permit.

  3. A citizen files a complaint with an administrative agency because they believe their rights have been violated. The agency must follow established procedures to investigate the complaint and determine whether the violation occurred.

Legal Terms Similar to Administrative Law

  1. Statutory law – Refers to laws enacted by the legislative branch of government.

  2. Regulatory law – Refers to laws that are designed to regulate the activities of individuals and businesses.

  3. Due process – Refers to the principle that states that individuals must be provided with certain procedural protections before being deprived of their rights or property.