Administrative law

What is Administrative Law?

Administrative law generally refers to the rules and regulations that apply to government employees and contractors. However, it can also apply to individuals who perform services for a private company as part of their job assignment in certain situations. 

Understanding Administrative Law

The U.S. Congress created the Administrative Law, a branch of Public Law and called Regulatory Law. It includes the procedures under which government agencies operate, as well as the external constraints upon them.

Over time, an ever-increasing number of United States agencies have been created. Each agency oversees a different function and monitors economic issues such as the telecommunications industry, the financial sector, and the actions of social groups, such as instances of racial discrimination. These agencies include the Department of Labor, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Workers’ compensation boards are state-level groups. Workers’ compensation is a system of social insurance that helps provide medical care, lost wages, and other benefits to employees injured while on the job. In most states, employers pay into a fund from which these payments are made. Generally, workers should contact their employer—or the workers’ compensation board in their state—if they are injured at work.

There are three general types of administrative law: Regulatory, Legislative, and Judicial. Regulatory and Legislative laws are concerned with the interactions among economic actors. On the other hand, judicial laws deal primarily with the effects of administrative action on private persons/businesses. Regulatory and Legislative laws are often called “big picture laws.”

The purpose of administrative law is to ensure that laws, rules, policies, procedures, and orders are carried out in a consistent manner with the rights, privileges, and interests of parties affected by the proceedings or activity being conducted. It prevents the improper concentration of power, prevents friction or delay in administering justice, and helps enforce the game’s rules.

Defining principles

There are three principles of administrative law: efficiency, economy, and justice. Efficiency is the state of affairs in a particular relation where the end advantage is the highest possible. Justice looks at what each party has done and asks whether it is just. 

The administration is carrying out an order or command issued by a superior officer or official. Each principle has parts defined for it in the theory of political economy. For example, efficiency requires more efficient allocation of available resources. Still, it does not require that resources be wasted, be wasted in a particular way, or be inefficiently used. 

Justice requires that any given amount of resources be distributed among different people as fairly as possible.

The main principle is that administrative law is concerned with the effective and efficient operation of government. The law is designed to ensure that public services function efficiently and systematically. 

That means an administrative judge will quickly look at instances where a particular agency takes longer to process a certain task or holds up payment because of improper procedures. If the judge agrees that the procedure was too complicated or inefficient, the agency could be ordered to change it or submit additional works to the public. It can be difficult to determine how administrative law applies in practice because many things that seem like business regulation aren’t.

Administrative Law Example

An example of administrative law is the Fair Labor Standards Act, which regulates workplace safety. The act establishes basic standards for wages, hours, and hiring procedures; requires stated reasons for non-renewal of employment contracts; establishes employee benefits entitlements, and establishes minimum individual liability for injury or death caused by an employer’s failure to protect employees from workplace hazards.

Key takeaways

  • Administrative law generally refers to the rules and regulations that apply to government employees and contractors. 
  • There are three general types of administrative law: Regulatory, Legislative, and Judicial. 
  • The purpose of administrative law is to ensure that laws, rules, policies, procedures, and orders are carried out in a consistent manner with the rights, privileges, and interests of parties affected by the proceedings or activity being conducted. 
  • There are three principles of administrative law: efficiency, economy, and justice.