Module Identifier LA30310  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Ms Bettina Lange  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite LA10110 or LA30110 or LA15710 and LA16220 or LA36220  
Mutually Exclusive LA10310  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours Two one hour lectures per week  
  Seminar   4 Hours Four one hour seminars during the semester  
Assessment Essay   2000 words required in week 6   50%  
  Exam   1.5 Hours   50%  
  Resit assessment   By retaking the failed element (ie written assignment or examination or both, as applicable)    
Professional Exemptions Required for Professional Purposes  

Module description

This module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of selected areas of administrative law. Particularly since the 19th century and up until the late 20th century the state in Britain became more and more involved in social and economic matters, such as housing, education and health as well as the running of nationalised industries. This led to the development of a body of legal rules - called administrative law - in order to facilitate and regulate such state intervention. The latter half of the 20th century saw a 'rolling back of the frontiers of the state' in Britain and this in turn has given rise to new forms of administrative law, such as the use of contractual devices in the relationship between the state and the citizen (e.g. 'contracting out', 'public procurement', 'Citizens Charter').

Administrative law is a dynamic subject in which legal rules can change quickly. Stephen Sedley, a High Court judge, has called it 'the most dynamic of all contemporary fields of law'. One reason for this is of course the close link between administrative law and politics, which will be explored in this module. For example, the government's policy on genetically modified organisms has become a subject matter for administrative law. The pressure group 'Friends of the Earth' has challenged in a judicial review action the Home Secretary's decision to continue the outdoor trial planting of GMO crops.

Administrative law is also dynamic because it can no longer be just understood in a national context but is influenced by legal and political developments on a local and international level. For example, the Government of Wales Act 1998 gives rise to new administrative structures and legal mechanisms in Wales. At an international level in particular EC law, for example through the principle of proportionality, has influenced administrative law in Britain.

Administrative law can be also a very practical subject. Nearly everybody is affected at various stages in his/her life by administrative law. For example, the disciplinary powers which the University has in relation to students and students' relationships with the Student Loan Company are guided by administrative law principles.


To provide students with the knowledge and the skills in this field of legal study which they will require for the purposes of working as a lawyer.

To develop critical understanding of how the law regulates and facilitates the activities of government.

To provide a basis for more detailed work, either through study of public law modules in subsequent semesters (such as welfare and housing law) and/or through research for undergraduate dissertations.   

Module objectives / Learning outcomes

Students should obtain knowledge and skills that are relevant in a legal context:

knowledge about the regulation of administrative activities in Britain.

skills in reading and analyzing administrative legislation and cases.

an understanding of contextual factors, such as political dynamics which shape the legal powers and control of the administration.

Students should acquire skills that are relevant beyond legal work:

- reading and understanding legal materials should develop students' general
powers of analysis, such as problem solving and constructing arguments

- students should develop skills in communicating their ideas clearly and
   concisely through seminar discussions and the assessed essay

- exercises during the seminars should develop team working skills, including self-awareness, self confidence and inter personal skills

- the completion of the written assignment, students' own reading in the library and seminar preparation should develop their skills of self-motivation, time management and organisational skills


Lecture 1: Introduction to the module `key themes? in contemporary administrative law.

Lecture 2: A case study illustrating key themes of contemporary administrative law.

Lecture 3: Powers and institutions in the modern administrative state I:
1. Structures: A description of central government powers and institutions.
2. Philosophies: "New Public Management".

Lecture 4: Powers and institutions in the modern administrative state II: Local government and devolution in Wales.

Lecture 5: How do the courts control the administration?
- The public/private law distinction.

Lecture 6: Introduction to judicial review:
- Procedural issues: standing.

Lecture 7: Grounds of Judicial Review I
- Proportionality

Lecture 8: Grounds of Judicial Review II
- Human Rights.

Lecture 9: Judicial Review in action (Guest Lecture).

Lecture 10: Grounds of Judicial Review II: Illegality, 1.

Lecture 11: Grounds of Judicial Review II: Illegality, 2.

Lecture 12: Grounds of Judicial Review III:
- Irrationality and Unreasonableness I.

Lecture 13: Grounds of Judicial Review III:
- Irrationality and Unreasonableness II.

Lecture 14: Grounds of Judicial Review IV
- Procedural Impropriety I

Lecture 15: Grounds of Judicial Review IV
- Procedural Impropriety II

Lecture 16: The Judicial Review
- Action in government contracts I.

Lecture 17: The Judicial Review
- Action in government contracts II.

Lecture 18: Alternative redress mechanisms: Ombudspeople

Lecture 19: Alternative redress mechanisms: Ombudspeople

Lecture 20:   Revision.


Teaching will be by lectures and small group seminars. Lectures will provide a structure for students own work on the
subject and aim to stimulate and encourage critical understanding and independent learning; seminars will allow students
to use and demonstrate their knowledge of aspects of the subject in a group environment.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Harlow & Rawlings. (1997) Law and Administration. 2nd.
Craig. (1999) Administrative Law. 4th.
** Supplementary Text
Cane. An Introduction to Administrative Law. 3rd.
Leyland et al. Administrative Law. 2nd.

Galligan. (1996) A Reader on Administrative Law.