The State of the Art in Contemporary Administrative Law

This is a comment on Mark Aronson, “Judicial Review of Administrative Action: Between Grand Theory and Muddling Through” (2021) 28 AJAL 6.

Three themes run through Professor Aronson’s excellent essay: the tension between generality and specificity in administrative law (and a related, but distinct, tension between rules and standards); the role of apex courts in articulating general principles of administrative law and applying those principles in specific contexts; and the relationship between courts and academic commentators.

I discuss these in turn before turning to what I consider to be an unarticulated theory underpinning Professor Aronson’s essay, suggesting (somewhat mischievously) that he is a legal antipositivist.

In what follows, I first discuss generality and specificity (Part I), second, apex courts and administrative law (Part II) and, third, academics and administrative law (Part III) before concluding as promised/threatened with some more philosophical reflections (Part IV).

This content has been updated on May 2, 2023 at 15:23.