Introduction to Administrative jurisprudence!

Administrative jurisprudence:

The body of law that governs the administration and regulation of government agencies of both federal and state is called Administrative Jurisprudence. It involves the regulation and administration of agencies of federal and state governments.

These Government agencies have the scope over a vast variety of economic functions, like the financial market, telecommunications, and social issues, for example, racial discrimination. 

Administrative jurisprudence also regulates the decision-making process of the Government about individual matters. This is because it had access to the review of government decisions. So, it can be considered a key component to access justice.  

If one aims for the smooth functioning of a democratic country, there should be a society that is based on reasonableness, fairness, and justness. Administrative Jurisprudence makes great efforts to develop a rule of law. It regulates the relationships between government and citizens & also protects every common man from arbitrary decisions of the officials.

It is composed of all executive actions, also its policies, and programs; all actions of state like actors of agency & instrumentality of the state; all administrative aspects of parliament & judiciary; all actions of non-state actors i.e, private entities who exercise public functions. Administrative jurisprudence is the branch of public law that guarantees the working of government at both state and central levels.

Additionally, it also deals with the powers and organizations of administrative and quasi-administrative bodies. So in general, it is judge-made law ensuring public welfare by providing proper guidelines.

Administrative jurisprudence can be identified into four basics stone:-

1. For checking constructive as well as abusive powers of the administrative authorities

2. For ensuring citizens a just society

3. For protecting the rights of the citizens from unauthorized curtailing of them. 

4. For accountability of the powers.

Definitions of Administrative jurisprudence by some scholars:

Many scholars have stated the definition of Administrative jurisprudence in their views.

  • C.K.Takwani: 

The branch of constitutional law that deals with the procedures and powers of the administrative authorities are called Administrative jurisprudence.

  • Dicey:

Administrative jurisprudence is that part of the nation’s legal system that determines the liabilities and legal status of all state offices which defines the liabilities and rights of private individuals in dealing with their public officials and it also defines the procedure by which these liabilities and rights are enforced.

  • Prof. H.W.R. Wade:

The law that controls the powers of the government is Administrative jurisprudence.

  • Austin:

 Administrative jurisprudence determines the ends and also the modes in which the sovereign powers should be exercised. It shall be directly or can be by the subordinates.

  • F.J. Port:

Administrative jurisprudence consists of all legal rules which consist of ultimate objects for fulfilling the public law, it touches legislature and also the judiciary, and also some rules govern judicial actions like issuing writs brought by or against any administrative person, rules that permit the administrative body to exercise judicial powers, and practical application of the law.

  • Ivor Jennings:

 Administrative jurisprudence is related to the administration that helps in the determination of the organization, and also the powers and duties of the administrative authorities.

  • K.C. Devis:

A law related to powers and procedures of administrative agencies, which includes the law related to judicial review of administrative actions is Administrative jurisprudence.

Nature of Administrative jurisprudence:

Administrative jurisprudence is the branch of public law defining the relationship between individuals and the state. But it is not a law in a true sense just like other laws such as labor law or property law. Also, it is not like private law that deals with relations of individuals among themselves.

It is a law for the administration of the administrative authorities to check them from producing any arbitrary decisions. Administrative jurisprudence also deals with the organization, powers, and duties of the administrative authorities, and the procedure followed by the officials during the time of exercising the powers.

It is limited to the law that limits the power of the administrative authorities while exercising the powers. It also provides solutions in favor of the public if the rights of the public encroach.

In India, administrative jurisprudence is almost the Judge made law. Due to this, it suffers from more benefits and facilities because of judicial lawmaking. Interpretation of law is done by Judiciary as per the need of time, and then accordingly they issue guidelines. This makes the law more beneficial and strong.

Administrative jurisprudence is a branch of the constitution that regulates all 3 branches—Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. Administrative actions may be legislative, executive or judiciary. Administrative can also do all three actions if it is required to do so. 

Legislation administrators have the power to make laws. Executive administrative can implement or enforces the laws. The Judiciary administration has the authority to apply them to specific cases arising out of breach of law. The nature of administrative law changes according to the need and time.

Scope of Administrative jurisprudence:

Meaning of scope is an area of study or various subjects that are discussed or considered. Scope means ‘what it is about,’ but also refers to how broad it is, or how many subjects or points or examples do it contain.

So, as administrative jurisprudence is almost the Judge-made law hence we can say that it changes according to societal needs in the guidance of the basic principles. Due to this, the scope of this law is wider as compared to other laws. As administrative jurisprudence incorporates and culls out new rules and regulations, it has a wide scope.

The concept of administrative jurisprudence is founded on the following:-

  • Principles of natural justice 
  • The notion of the Rule of law
  • Law grants power to administration according to Article 13 of the Indian Constitution
  • Accountability of powers. Every power is controllable
  • A reasonable restriction on the regulations of power
  • Power of the Court to issue writs
  • Opinions of mass media and public

Legislative Functions of Administration:

  • Delegated legislation and its constitutionality:

The Administrative authorities have delegated the power to legislate by the Legislature. Whether the power delegated to the administrative authorities is permissible within the constitutional definition or not is examined by Administrative jurisprudence. Sometimes the risk of abuse of power can be seen. Hence avoiding such abuse of power is necessary.

In India, there are 3 measures to control abuse of power via delegated legislation –

  1. Parliamentary Control:-

As the Executive is responsible to the Parliament, Parliamentary control is a normal constitutional function. Firstly, Parliamentary control ensured that the law provides the extent of delegated power. Secondly, it involves laying the Bill before the Parliament.

  • Control Mechanism :

Administrative jurisprudence keeps the check on the power that is exercised by the administrative authorities. They are given the discretionary powers to legislate delegated legislation through-

Parliamentary control of delegated legislation,

Judicial control of delegated legislation,

Procedural control of delegated legislation.

  • Sub-delegation :

Sub-delegation is when administrative authorities further delegate the power which was delegated to them. This happens only when the administrative authorities allow it to do it.

Administrative jurisprudence makes sure that sub-delegation of power is done only according to the law and it also ensures that such a provision of sub-delegation doesn’t make the administrator lethargic or languid.


Administrative jurisprudence governs the Executive, for regulation of its functions and to protect the common citizenry from abuse of power that is exercised by the Executive or any of its instrumentalities. It has evolved with time and will continue to evolve according to the changing needs of society.

Its aim is not to remove the discretionary powers of the Executive but also to bring them in consonance with the ‘Rule of law’.


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