Administrative Law Matters

Commentary on developments in administrative law, particularly judicial review of administrative action by common law courts.


Process, Substance and the Influence of Judicial Review on Public Administration: Ofsted v Secretary of State for Education [2018] EWCA Civ 2813

I found the decision of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in Ofsted v Secretary of State for Education [2018] EWCA Civ 2813 to be a nice illustration of two important phenomena: first, the extent to which administrators internalize the norms generated by judicial development of the principles of judicial review of administrative […] Read more


Is the Federal Courts Act a Quasi-Constitutional Statute? Deegan v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 FC 960

The term “quasi-constitutional” is sometimes attached to statutes said or held to have special status relative to other statutes. Typically, the “quasi-constitutional” statute is one which protects or seeks to entrench important individual rights. But there is no reason that only statutes concerned with rights should be eligible for the “quasi-constitutional” label (see Vanessa MacDonnell). […] Read more


Tough Times for the Anti-Administrativists

Anti-administrativists have not had a good couple of weeks. For the past few years, the administrative state in the United States has been under sustained attack, traduced as illegitimate and a betrayal of the commitments of the Founding Fathers. Too often, however, the arguments of the anti-administrativists portray a cartoonish version of modern public administration, […] Read more


My “Puzzling” Theory of Deference

My worst nightmare (which, admittedly, is a little bit different from the nocturnal terrors feared by most people) has just come to pass. Yesterday Professor Larry Solum extracted on his Legal Theory blog a piece from a recent article of mine and labelled it “puzzling”. Here is the offending passage (from this article): What Chevron […] Read more


New Job: University Research Chair in Administrative Law & Governance, University of Ottawa (Faculty of Law, Common Law Section)

After three extraordinarily happy years in Cambridge, I am moving back to Canada, where I will seek to repay the University of Ottawa’s faith in me as a legal scholar, as the University Research Chair in Administrative Law & Governance. The University’s announcement can be found here, with more details on the website of the […] Read more


The Limits of Public Law: J.W. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 20

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was concluded in 2006, settling class actions brought against the Government of Canada and religious organizations by those who suffered abuse in residential schools. Over a period of almost 150 years, around 150,000 young First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended Indian Residential Schools run by religious orders and […] Read more