Administrative law is the law that determines the organization’s powers and duties of administrative officers. It is the law relating to the administrative government. It concerns itself with public authorities and how they function. Administrative law is the body of general principles that govern the exercise of power by authorities. Wade defines Administration Law as the Law relating to control of government power.1 He further assets that the primary purpose of administrative law is to keep the powers of government within their legal bounds, so as to protect the citizen against their abuse. Constitutional law is the law that establishes the state and its institutions; administrative law is the law that these institutions use to run the country.
Administrative Law is an area of the law that governs the creation of agencies that aid in administering governmental powers and functions. The essence of Administrative Law is to advocate for or uphold natural justice most especially for public servants or any other person appearing before an administrative tribunal. This view was held by court in cases of Ridge v Baldwin2 and Breen v Amalgamate Engineering Union.3 Administrative law is the law relating to public administration. It is concerned with the legal forms and constitutional status of public authorities; with their powers and duties and with the procedures followed in exercising them; with their legal relationship with one another, with the public and their employees; which seek, in varied ways, to control their activities.4 Administrative law determines the organizations powers and duties of administrative officers. It is the law relating to administration of government. It concerns itself with public authorities and how they function. It is a body of general principles that govern the exercise of power by authorities. Whereas constitutional law is a system of laws, customs, conventions which define the composition and powers of the state and regulates the activities of various state and regulates the activities of various state organs on one hand and private citizens on the other. Like constitutional law administrative law deals with the control and exercise of power by government. The distinction between the two can be drawn by the fact that constitutional law is mainly concerned with the structure and composition of primary organs of government. Whereas administrative law is concerned with the work of officials or agencies in providing services and regulating the activities of citizens. Administrative and constitutional law differs in their scope and purpose, constitutional law plays a large part in administrative law. Administrative law concerns itself more on the executives whereas constitutional law is all embracing that is to say the concerns of everyone – it addresses everything except nothing. Administrative Law may therefore be treated as a branch of constitutional law since it flows directly from the constitution principles of the rule of law and the sovereignty of parliament and it does much to determine the separation of powers between the state and citizens. Administrative law refers generally to the laws and legal principles governing the creation, administration and regulation of government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. It is essentially “the powers granted to administrative agencies, the substantive rules that such agencies make, and the legal relationship between such agencies, other government bodies, and the public at large.”5 The difference between constitutional law and administrative law is that constitutional law covers the national legislative powers, topics , functions of government hierarchy and status of courts of law, limits of personal liberty and rights of individuals, law of citizenship and status of aliens, status of national institutions such as Universities, Army, Police and Prisons whereas administrative law covers the legal framework of...
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Mah, C. L (n.d.). Administrative Law: the Basics. Retrieved April 6, 2013, from http://www.lawnow.org
Musonda, P. Judge (2006) Administrative Law Module LL10. 1st ed., Zambian Open University
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