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Administrative Law I

Constitutional Law V
Administrative Law
Kingsley Udeh, Esq.

Expected outcome of this

At the end of this lecture you should
be able to:
Identify the similarities and
dissimilarities between Constitutional
Law and Administrative Law
Identify the relevance of having
Administrative Law as a course of study

Administrative Law and Constitutional Law are closely
related in terms of areas of interests and issues.
The close relationship between the two had led
eminent legal scholars in the Common Law
jurisdictions, particularly in England, to treat
Administrative Law as an appendage of Constitutional
A.V Dicey in his exposition on Rule of Law posited
that Administrative Law does not exist in England,
thereby worsening the perception about the identity
of Administrative Law as a course of study in the
Common Law jurisdiction

Effects of the Misconception

The earlier perception that Administrative Law
is an appendage of Constitutional Law led to:
Many English textbooks to treat Constitutional
Law and Administrative Law as one and the
same, so that one textbook will read
Constitutional and Administrative Law
Most of the textbooks on Constitutional and
Administrative Law had most of their focus on
Constitutional Law matters and very little on
Administrative Law issues.
Some universities in the UK still does not have a
separate Administrative Law course, but the
course Constitutional and Administrative Law

Current paradigm shift

However, at present the misconception that
Administrative Law is not a distinct course of
study from Constitutional Law has changed.
It is now widely accepted that Administrative
Law is a distinct course of study, not an
appendage of Constitutional Law.
There are currently several textbooks on
Administrative Law, with focus on issues
peculiar to Administrative Law.

Features of Admin Law

There are certain features of Administrative
Law that makes it distinct
It is concerned with the regulation of the
activities of administrative agencies of the
state or government, and not with the state or
government as a whole
It is focused on the powers and procedures for
the exercise of powers by administrative
Admin agencies exercise legislative, executive &
judicial powers

Its focal point is on providing remedies for abuse

of powers by administrative agencies

Other features of
Admin Law
Other distinctive features of
Administrative Law include
It delves into delegation of powers and
delegated legislation, which are important
issues in the operation of administrative
It involves the study of numerous
legislation and subsidiary legislation
relating to administrative agencies; hence
its focus goes beyond the Constitution

Features of
Constitutional Law
On the other hand, Constitutional Law has
the following distinctive features as a
course of study:
It is concerned with regulating the relationship
between the 3 arms of government, viz., the
Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary
It focuses squarely on the Constitution
It looks into the vesting of power on the 3
arms of government and the separation of
their powers

Other features of
Constitutional Law
Other distinguishing features of
Constitutional Law include:
Its focus is on fundamental human rights
It is concerned with the general exercise
of governmental powers by the 3 arms of
govt., instead of its delegation

Similarities between
Constitutional Law and
Admin Law
There would not be confusion of identity between
the 2 courses of study, if there were no
similarities or close affinity between the 2.
The similarities between Constitutional Law and
Admin Law include:
Both are species of Public Law, that is, they deal
with the relationship between the institutions of
government and individuals, and relationship
among the institutions of government
Both deal with the distribution and exercise of
governmental powers and functions- where
Constitutional Law ends, Administrative Law

Other similarities include
Both are concerned with imposing boundaries
and accountability on those that exercise
governmental powers
Their application is founded on the Constitution
The study of Admin Law will involve copious reference
to the Constitution

They are both concerned with Human Right

Both rely on statutes and case laws for their
principles and operations
The principles of both are enforced by the same
institutions: the courts, law enforcement agents.

From the distinctive features of
Administrative Law and Constitutional Law
as presented above, one could identify the
dissimilarities between the 2 courses of
Apart from those identified above, one will
notice that their course outlines or topics of
study are different.

Relevance of Admin
The relevance of studying Administrative Law
as a separate course of study is that
It focuses on particular areas of governmental
administration which Constitutional Law does not
delve into
It deals with practical and procedural issues
relating to administrative agencies, which
Constitutional Law is not concerned with
Certain principles are not applied in Administrative
Law as they are applied in Constitutional Law; we
will see later how principles such as Separation of
Powers apply or do not apply in Administrative law

Constitutional Law and
Administrative Law are closely
However, Administrative Law is not
an appendage of Constitutional Law