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Administrative Law and Agency Accountability

Administrative law structures, channels, and checks the exercise of administrative authority. It specifies the forms of agency organization and procedure and regulates the relationship of administrative personnel to hierarchical supervisors in the executive branch, to legislatures and parliaments, and to the courts of law. Its broad function in democratic states is to ensure that the multitudinous officials of modern administrative governance are accountable to the people through their elected representatives, that agency power is exercised in accordance with authority conveyed, and that administrative action respects individual rights.

Administrative law is thus a sprawling enterprise, and its sources are multiple and varied. Constitutions, statutes, judicial opinions, executive orders, orders in council, internal rules and directives, precedent, and custom all play a part. The relevance and authority of ...

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