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Administrative Law (class 16).doc

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Common Law
Benoît Pelletier

Administrative Law Introduction Administrative law is a division of public law. An administrative body or tribunal conducts its affairs or renders its decisions in accordance with standards usually set out in the enabling statute. Probably no area of law has grown as significantly as administrative law. 1. The process of delegation and the classification of administrative tribunals 1. Government (federal and provincial) delegating authority to inferior tribunals composed of persons possessing expertise in particular areas to set policy and render decisions. Under the doctrines of parliamentary sovereignty, policy making can be delegated by a legislative body. The inferior bodies to which authority is delegated are referred to as boards, commissions, tribunals, agencies… (ex. subordinate agency, the municipal council) Traditionally it was important to distinguish administrative tribunals in terms of their function because judicial review of administrative action and the application by our courts of the prerogative remedies for denial of the rules of natural justice were limited to only one category of administrative tribunals: those which exercised judicial or quasi- judicial function. (The modern approach has somewhat simplified the notion of classification of tribunals. Since the late seventies and early eighties, the courts have blurred the distinction between analytically classified judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals on the other. At the same time, courts have also blurred the distinction between natural justice and fairness with the result that all of these tribunals are now subject to judicial scrutiny on the basis of their conformity to modern, renewed standards of fairness.) 2. With the development of the doctrine of fairness the need for classification has been somewhat reduced. Ex. Lalonde c. Ontario (Commission de restructuration des services de santé), [2001] O.J. No. 4768 1 Ex. University of Ottawa 2. Judicial review of administrative decision-making - Conformity to Enabling Statute An administrative tribunal may enact rules or make decisions only within the bounds of the authority granted to it by its governing statue - Jurisdictional Fact Doctrine Did the legislator intend the question to be within the jurisdiction conferred on the tribunal? - Abuse of Power Decision in bad faith (absence of bona fides or good faith) (or irrelevant considerations) Good faith A state of mi
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