ADMINISTRATIVE LAW & GOVERNANCE

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The aim of the course is to ensure that participants are familiar with the central principles of Administrative Law. They will develop an appreciation of the relationship between law and government decision-making, including how the law forms a framework that enables and controls government activity within the broader context of the rule of law. The participants will learn the principles and procedures for review of administrative action, and learn to apply this understanding to resolve practical problems.

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A democracy will be no better than a mere façade if the rights of the people are infringed with impunity without proper redressed mechanism. This makes the study of administrative law important in every country. For India, however, it is of special significance because of the proclaimed objectives of the Indian polity to build up a socialistic pattern of society. This has generated administrative process, and hence administrative law, on a large scale. The issues in administrative law cut across substantive boundaries and invariably have an impact on the relationship among the branches and in particular between the courts and agencies. They are not simply process questions. In addition, they frequently involve a balancing between, on the one hand, the need to strive for accuracy and an opportunity for affected persons to participate in the agency decision and, on the other, the desire to keep costs under control and allow government some opportunity to operate efficiently and effect. .

Rationale

This course is an introduction to the legal, normative, and organizational principles that undergird the administrative state. This involves study of the sources of law for administrative action and examines the ways in which the practical necessities of having vast, powerful executive agencies are squared with the commitments to a government that is democratically accountable and legitimate. Administrative law extends into nearly every aspect of modern life. Keeping that in view, this training aims to deepen participant’s understanding of key aspects of the administrative justice system. Administrative law concerns the legal rules and institutions which seek to keep the ‘governors’ in society (principally, decision-makers in the executive arm of government) accountable. It encompasses both judicial and non-judicial modes of accountability. Administrative law can be conceptualised as the legal regulation of the exercise of public (as opposed to ‘private’) power.

Learning Outcomes

The aim of the course is to ensure that participants are familiar with the central principles of Administrative Law. They will develop an appreciation of the relationship between law and government decision-making, including how the law forms a framework that enables and controls government activity within the broader context of the rule of law. The participants will learn the principles and procedures for review of administrative action, and learn to apply this understanding to resolve practical problems.

Objective

On completion of the programme the participants will be able to:

  1. explain the principles, standards and doctrines developed by the judiciary as custodian and guardian of the rule of law;
  2. apply the fundamental constitutional and legal requirements in their rule-making and decision-making functions;
  3. state the principles of proper and rational exercise of administrative discretionary power;
  4. Navigate and apply key administrative law legal norms to enable them function effectively , efficiently and fairly; and
  5. develop the cognitive skills to analyse, evaluate and apply the principles of administrative law to bring good governance; and
  6. communicate recent developments in the area of judicial review of administrative action, law relating to liability of administration and departmental inquiry.

Contents

The course circles around the following themes/topics:

  1. Public Law and Public Administration
  2. Administrative Law-making
  3. Administrative Adjudication (Principles  of Natural Justice)
  4. Administrative Discretion
  5. Administrative Law Dimensions of Constitutional Status of Civil Services
  6. Judicial Review of Administrative Action through Writs
  7. Government Liability in Tort and Contract
  8. Constitutional and Legal Safeguards for Civil Servants
  9. Working of Central Administrative Tribunal
  10. Commissions of Inquiry and other investigative mechanism on accountability: CBI, CVC
  11. Disciplinary Proceedings
  12. Conduct Rules
  13. Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism

Level of participants

Officers of All India Service, officers working under the Central Staffing Scheme and officers of Central Secretariat Service (CSS).

Pedagogy

The pedagogy followed will help participants understand the need and importance of administrative law. This course examines the legal and practical foundations of the modern administrative state. The course will cover the various aspects of administrative law through a combination of:

  1.  Lectures
  2.  Case Studies
  3.   Discussions
  4. Individual Experiences