Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of the government. Activities of government agencies include rule making, adjudication, and the enforcement of a regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law. Administrative law deals with tribunals, boards, and commissions. This body of law also covers police law, international trade, manufacturing, the environment, taxation, broadcasting, immigration and transportation. Administrative law tribunals, councils, and committees help to regulate the work done by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the United States government.
There are four parts that are key to administrative law. Those four parts are that the rules and regulations must define the authority of and structure of administrative agencies, they must specify the procedural formalities, employed by agencies, they must determine the validity of agency decisions and they must define the role of reviewing courts and other governmental entities in relation to administrative agencies. Administrative law is also referred to as the Code of Federal Regulations.
The Code of Federal Regulations is a group of general and permanent rules and regulations that are published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government of the United States. The Code of Federal Regulations is published by the Office of the Federal Register, which is an agency of the National Archives and Records Administration.
There are six main regulations that state that agencies cannot make rules and regulations when the regulation is an unconstitutional delegation of power, the organic statute explicitly denies authority, Congress has enacted a separate regulatory scheme, the regulation is not based on factual findings, the regulation is not pursuant to serving the public convenience, interest, or necessity and the regulations is outside the agency’s statutory purpose as articulated in its organic statute.
Adjudication is defined as the legal process in which a judge or arbiter reviews evidence and arguments provided by separate parties to come to a decisions regarding the case in question. Adjudication can resolve three types of disputes; between private parties such as individuals or corporations, between private parties and public officials, and between public officials or public bodies. To make an act adjudicative in nature it must meet three qualifications. Those three qualifications must involve a small number of people, the individuals involved are specially affected by the act, and the decision based on the facts of an individual case rather than policy concerns.
There are three types of rulemaking involved with administrative law. Rulemaking includes formal rulemaking, informal rulemaking, and hybrid rulemaking. Formal rulemaking is when an organic statute requires that rules must be made on the record after a hearing has been held by an agency. Informal rulemaking is when no procedural requirements are needed as stated in the organic statute. Hybrid rulemaking is where rules can be made beyond notice and comment but never rises to the level of formal rulemaking.
Aside from the administrative laws created by the federal government, each individual state can also create their own administrative laws. Individual states may also provide an administrative appeal process for people who are not satisfied with decisions made by certain state agencies.
An administrative law judge is the judge that presides over a hearing between a government agency and a person that does not like the decision handed down by that government agency. An administrative law judge is allowed to administer oaths, take testimony, rule on questions of evidence, and make factual and legal determinations.
There have been six major cases involving administrative law in the history of the United States. Those six cases are Commodity Futures Trading Commission vs. Schor (1986), Whitman vs. American Trucking Associations, Inc. (2001), Immigration and Naturalization Service vs. Chadha (1983), Morrison vs. Olson (1988), Printz vs. United States (1997) and Gade vs. National Solid Wastes Management Association (1992). There have been other cases in the history of the country that have not been as large as the six mentioned above and are considered appropriate deference to agency.
For More Information
- Cornell University Law School: Administrative Law
- Worldwide Legal Directories: Guide to Administrative Law
- Administrative Law And Procedure – 2 Pa. Cons. Stat.
- American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice