⇒ Administrative law is neither really criminal nor civil.
⇒ But Dicey believes there should not be a separate body for administrative law as this would offend the rule of law.
⇒ Administrative law provides authority for public servants to deliver government policy.
⇒ Administrative law authorises the raising and expenditure of public funds.
⇒ Administrative law sets limits to the power of public officials.
⇒ Administrative law creates the institutional mechanism for calling public officials to account.
⇒ Administrative law allows for the redress of grievance and resolution of public complaints.
⇒ The following make up the administrative justice institutional framework: courts; tribunals; inquiries; ombudsman; and complaints procedures.
⇒ Like the Criminal Justice System these employ thousands of people and it is expensive to run.
⇒ The principle of judicial review provides the legal background to the administrative justice system → judicial review is a procedure by which a court can review an administrative action by a public body.
⇒ Originally, there was much dispute about tribunals as it was argued that only the courts could resolve disputes.
⇒ Tribunals were developed in response to the court being overwhelmed by the number of cases, especially after the court had to deal with disputes arising from the Workmen’s Compensation Acts.
⇒ Hewart LCJ (1922-40) criticised tribunals harshly: this led to the creation of the Committee on Ministers' Powers who said tribunals were necessary and desirable in our legal system.
⇒ Another report led by Sir Oliver Franks in 1957 concluded that tribunals are necessary for openness, fairness, and impartiality.
⇒ Inquiries involve the gathering of information, in the light of which a minister would decide the issue.
⇒ There is some blurring of the lines between tribunals and inquiries.
⇒ Review is another form of redress of grievance.
⇒ It involves the original decision maker reviewing the decision they made initially.
⇒ Reviews have 2 basic forms:
⇒ Reviews are criticised as undermining the duo process of administrative justice.
⇒ However, they allow for mistakes to be corrected cheaply and quickly.
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⇒ Introduced in 1967, the first ombudsman was the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (PCA) (otherwise known as the Parliamentary Commissioner).
⇒ Original function was to investigate complaints and allegations of misadministration by the UK Government departments and agencies.
⇒ Ombudsman offers wide range of remedies e.g. apologies, explanations, remedial action, and compensation.
⇒ The Health Service Ombudsman deals with complaints against the NHS, etc. The public can complain directly to this ombudsman, unlike the PCA.
⇒ There are 3 local government ombudsmen covering all local authorities in England.
⇒ They investigate complaints against principal councils and other bodies.
⇒ Since 1989 they have been able to give advice on good administrative practice.
⇒ Following a review, it was decided local government and central government ombudsman can jointly investigate a complaint made against both the local and central government.
⇒ All ombudsmen operate on an investigative basis.
⇒ They investigate a complaint and decide if there has been maladministration.
⇒ More often than not the department/agency in question acted reasonably i.e. more often than not it will be found there was no maladministration.
⇒ The European Ombudsman's creation was approved by Maastricht's Treaty and took office in 1995.
⇒ Unlike domestic ombudsmen, the European Ombudsman can instigate his 'own-initiative' inquiries i.e. the European Ombudsman can investigate something on his own accord.
⇒ The Adjudicator: investigates complaints about Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the Insolvency Service, and the Valuation Office Agency.
⇒ The Independent Complaints Reviewer: deals with complaints against the land registry, the Audit Commission, and the National Archives, etc.
⇒ The Independent Case Examiner: deals with complaints against Child Support Agency and Pension, Disability and Carers Service, etc.
⇒ The Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education: independent student complaints scheme to which institutions must adhere.
⇒ Other methods through which officials and other public servants are called to account:
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