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UOL Administrative Law

Administrative Law provides students with a comprehensive exploration of the legal principles and doctrines that govern the actions and decisions of public authorities. This course aims to equip students with a nuanced understanding of administrative law, emphasising the theory, mechanisms of control, and the impact of human rights and EU law on administrative decision-making.


1. Introduction

The introductory module sets the foundation by providing an overview of administrative law. Students explore the historical development of administrative law, its role in governance, and the distinctive features that differentiate it from other branches of law.


2. Theory of Administrative Law

This module delves into the theoretical underpinnings of administrative law, exploring concepts such as the rule of law, separation of powers, and the accountability of public authorities. Students critically engage with the philosophical foundations that shape the legal framework of administrative law.


3. Public Authorities

Understanding the scope and nature of public authorities is fundamental to administrative law. Students explore the definition, powers, and functions of public authorities, distinguishing between governmental bodies and other entities exercising public functions.


4. Legislation

Legislation forms a significant part of administrative law. This module covers the principles governing the interpretation and application of statutes in the context of administrative actions. Students analyse how legislation empowers, constrains, and guides administrative decision-making.


5. Delegated Legislation

Delegated legislation grants authority to administrative bodies to create rules and regulations. Students examine the legal frameworks governing the delegation of legislative powers, the limits imposed on such powers, and the mechanisms for scrutinising delegated legislation.


6. Rulemaking

Rulemaking is a crucial aspect of administrative decision-making. This module explores the processes through which administrative rules and policies are formulated, including public consultation, impact assessment, and the role of stakeholders in shaping administrative decisions.


7. Judicial Review

Judicial review is a central mechanism for holding public authorities accountable. Students delve into the principles and procedures of judicial review, exploring the grounds upon which administrative decisions can be challenged in court.


8. Procedures and Remedies

This module covers the procedural aspects of administrative law, including the right to a fair hearing, natural justice, and the availability of remedies. Students analyse the various remedies, such as declarations, injunctions, and damages, that can be sought in cases of administrative unlawfulness.


9. Illegality

Illegality is a ground for judicial review. Students examine the various forms of illegality, including errors of law, ultra vires acts, and improper exercises of discretion, and their implications for the legality of administrative decisions.


10. Procedural Impropriety

Procedural impropriety focuses on flaws in the decision-making process. This module explores issues such as bias, inadequate consultation, and failure to provide reasons, emphasising the impact of procedural fairness on the validity of administrative decisions.


11. Legitimate Expectation

Legitimate expectation is a key doctrine in administrative law. Students analyse how legitimate expectations arise, the circumstances in which they can be protected, and the balancing of competing interests in administrative decision-making.


12. Irrationality and Proportionality

This module explores the grounds of irrationality and proportionality as bases for judicial review. Students examine the standards applied by courts to assess the reasonableness and proportionality of administrative decisions.


13. Equality

Equality is a fundamental principle in administrative law. Students explore how the principle of equality is applied in the context of administrative decision-making, addressing issues such as discrimination and the duty to treat like cases alike.


14. Exclusion of Judicial Review

Certain decisions and actions are exempt from judicial review. This module analyses the circumstances under which judicial review can be excluded, exploring the implications for accountability and the protection of individual rights.


15. Ombudsmen

Ombudsmen play a role in addressing grievances against public authorities. Students examine the functions, powers, and limitations of ombudsmen in administrative law, considering their impact on the resolution of disputes.


16. Tribunals

Administrative tribunals are specialised bodies for resolving disputes. This module covers the structure, jurisdiction, and procedures of administrative tribunals, highlighting their role in providing accessible and expert adjudication.


17. Public Inquiries

Public inquiries are mechanisms for investigating issues of public concern. Students explore the legal framework governing public inquiries, including their establishment, powers, and the use of evidence in the inquiry process.


18. Administrative Liability

When public authorities act unlawfully, they may be held liable. This module analyses the principles of administrative liability, exploring the circumstances under which public authorities can be sued for damages.


19. Impact of ECHR

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has a significant impact on administrative law. Students examine how human rights considerations, as protected by the ECHR, influence administrative decision-making and the grounds for judicial review.


20. Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act incorporates the ECHR into UK law. This module explores the provisions of the Human Rights Act, emphasising how it allows individuals to assert their human rights in challenges against administrative decisions.


21. Impact of EU Law

The impact of EU law on administrative law is significant. Students explore how EU law influences administrative decision-making, considering principles such as direct effect, supremacy, and the grounds for challenging administrative actions based on EU law.


By exploring topics such as public authorities, legislation, judicial review, and the impact of human rights and EU law, students develop critical analytical and practical skills necessary for engaging with the complexities of administrative law.


Check out our exam-focused Administrative Law notes now.

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