Sample Law Paper on Concept of Administrative Law

Concept of Administrative Law

Administrative law is a wide concept, at least according to the people who have attempted to define it. In summary, it is the body of rules and standards that the courts apply to guide and regulate administrative authorities’ responsibilities. They include references to composition and powers, resctrictions of these powers, provisions for exercising these powers, and the ultimate judicial control input on these powers. The concept has seen vast growth in the 20th century, resulting in radical change in state functions. The state thus not only serves the sovereign purpose of protection of its citizens from aggression and tax collection; in extension, it has a democratic duty to social security and welfare, including healthcare (Chaoulli v. Quebec, 2005).  It serves in industrial relations involving production and distribution of commodities for use. In addition, it helps in ensuring equal pay for proportional work done by its citizens (United Parcel Service (UPS) v. Canada, 2007).

Judicial discretion in law refers to the free will exercised by judges in making judgements. The arrived-at verdicts are usually out of their right, independent of set-out laws and guidelines. It is, however, notable that this does not mean the inclusion of personal prejudice and subjective mindsets. There are, however, exercisable constraints on the level of discretion (Mount Sinai Hospital Center v. Quebec, 2001). The constitution and rule of law have to be upheld at all times. The judicial framework exists as an instrument for passing and implementing decisions, and as such, it cannot surpass or undermine set out laws.

Outlined above is the level to which judicial discretion can be exercised in law. Actions over and above what is outlined and acceptable by law are judicial activism. There are additional instances in which this can occur. An example is in mandatory sentencing that is exercised out of recidivism and other aspects of law and order. When an offence is repeatedly committed, or has grave and severe consequences, no room is left to the judge to exercise discretion. The same is escalated to the prosecutor instead. The court needs to consider this stipulation and factor in situational constraints, before arriving at an amicable action plan.

Credibility, as used in law, usually refers to information from the account presented by the witness. Depending on whether it is reliable or not, its credibility or lack of it because of that can be determined. Evidence that is presented is evaluated to determine its worth. This evaluation usually pertains to its relevance in the case scenario under assessment. The ability of the witness to remember facts and events correctly is to be considered. It concerns details such as time, dates, and measurements, among others, out of personal analysis and judgement. In Australian law, for instance, credibility has to be determined if evidence is to be considered and used in determining decisions (Zündel v. Canada, 2000).

The term refers to the inclination towards a given point of view or opinion as used in law. It is also termed a partiality, prejudice, or subjective form of judgement. The same can result in a legal set-up when the jury tends to favor a given form of decision without factual or legal basis. Biases exist in various forms as outlined below.

A confirmation bias results out of a hypothesis or pre-formed conception about a given issue. Interpretation and the ultimate decision are skewed to fit one’s assumptions that may have resulted out of a previous similar encounter, for instance. In these cases, judges will favor the evidence in line with their assumptions and as such disregard that which does not favor this way of reasoning.

Hindsight bias comes out of event evaluation after it has occurred. The position assumed is usually in favor of the actual outcome. The same popularly referred to as the ‘I knew it all along’ notion. There is resultant inequality between hindsight and foresight as a higher probability is assigned to the outcome that has already occurred. An example is a medical case where malpractice and negligence were filed as a lawsuit when the death of a patient resulted. The physician who testified presented an opinion that death would have been averted, since the details were at his disposal at that moment. The severity of the outcome here also serves to determine the level of skewed judgement and thus bias.

In a conjunction fallacy, the probability of the outcome is predicted based on the amount of details provided. When more details are provided regarding a given case, it would be anticipated as highly likely to occur. The contrary is said when details are scanty. It is given an inferior probability, given the same assessment.

Sometimes too, bias can arise due to inability to ignore inadmissible evidence in judgement. The inadmissible evidence is that which has been denied inclusion in the delivery of judgement due to the manner in which it was arrived at or its subjective detailing of facts contained. However, due to human weakness and tendencies, there results from the lack of its total deletion and the jury consequently factor it in the passing of judgements. In a given case, (Zündel v. Canada, 2000) jurors were not supposed to consider the line of questioning assumed during cross-examination of the witness.

Sequential ruling is another phenomenon that results in bias. In this case, the routine mannerisms assumed by the jury over time take over rational analysis and influence the outcome of instances. The final verdicts delivered will usually exhibit a given predictable pattern formed over time. An example is when verdict is correlated to the time of the day and expressing similarity and predictability. It also exhibits similarity over time, regardless of the individual details of the cases. This kind of bias can be eliminated by taking breaks after given set out timelines.

Bias can also lastly exist in the sentencing level. The severity of cases serves to determine the number of factors considered in arriving at the judgement. In minor cases, there is a tendency to consider fewer details or factors. As such, most other factors that may be equally relevant and substantial but are ultimately disregarded or ignored. This trend reduces with increase severity of cases where factors are then considered more wholesomely and conclusively. In addition, anchors and judgments can affect decisions made.

An analysis of the final verdicts arrived at is important in determining the level of bias. Details of any given case are scrutinized and considered with relation to similar cases. Trends in judgment can also be considered. The same can be checked if they result from precedent or not. When a correlation or the cause for given patterns cannot be determined, questions are raised, and answers found.

The duty to give reasons is a fundamental tenet in judicial processes. Although it is not obligatory, it serves various crucial functions and offers an array of intangible benefits. It helps to satisfy the demands of legal belief and lucidity for public institutions on individuals. It also is an arbitrary check on decision-making and a fundamental of proper administration. The same also offers basic fair play, regardless of the nature of the reasons (Baker v. Canada, 1999). Whether the decisions are adverse or not, the recipient will appreciate that they are rational and free of bias. This duty also serves to expose excess jurisdiction, the error of law, unsubstantiated findings, and unpractical considerations. Out of this action, public confidence is also enhanced.

As earlier noted, no general duty calls for duty to give reasons. However, some provisions are in place that allow for given measures towards the same. For instance, the court will most certainly find it necessary under the same common law rules that this purpose is served to a given extent if a judicial decision is to be well substantiated. Reasons are called for under the common law and draft on European Convention on Human Rights.

In order to appreciate the role of administrative law in the organizational model, it is important to appreciate these concepts. The corporate strategy needs to be in line with legal and governmental stipulations. The state serves a role in exercising its mandate to the people. The same can be achieved by ensuring that the law is followed by all stakeholders. As such, conformity is only possible through the staff’s understanding of these concepts, using them to ensure conformation with the law.


Baker v. Canada. (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817. Retrieved from: <

Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 307. Retrieved from: <

Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General), [2005] 1 S.C.R. 791, 2005 SCC 35. Retrieved from:

Mount Sinai Hospital Center v. Quebec (Minister of Health and Social Services), [2001] 2 S.C.R. 281, 2001 SCC 41. Retrieved from:

Zündel v. Canada (Human Rights Commission) (C.A.), [2000] 4 F.C. 255. Retrieved from <