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Introduction To Administrative Law (Act) With Types, Elements, Effects And Examples

We explain introduction to administrative law (Act), its types, elements and examples. In addition, in which cases are null and what are its effects.

  1. What is the Administrative Law (Act)?

Normally it is understood as an administrative act to  any manifestation or declaration of the public powers of a State endowed with administrative powers, to impose its will on the rights, freedoms or interests of other public or private subjects that make life in the nation.

In other words, these are legal acts, in which a State agency expresses its will unilaterally, externally and specifically, to decide on a specific matter.

Public authorities may be imposed on a specific matter through administrative acts, provided that they take place within the stipulations of the legal system, that is, that they occur as established by the Constitution. Hence, administrative acts may vary from country to country and from legislation to legislation.

  1. Types Of Administrative Law (Acts)

Administrative acts are classified, according to the segmentation carried out by Gabino Fraga, in the following criteria:

  • According to its nature . Taking into account the will of the person who performs the administrative act, one can speak of legal acts (if it modifies the law or causes an effect on what it regulates) or of material or enforcement acts (if it executes non-legal powers of the public administration ) .
  • According to the wills that allow it . Taking into account the responsible agencies, we can talk about unilateral acts (if they only concern the institution that issues them), or plurilateral acts (if they express the will of two or more public bodies).
  • According to the relationship between the will and the law . Taking into account the way in which it is related to the law, administrative acts can be mandatory or linked (the law imposed without margin for individual decisions must be followed), or they can be discretionary (certain decision margin is allowed to the affected).
  • According to the area of ​​its actions . Taking this criterion into account, we can distinguish between internal administrative acts (regulating the internal functioning of the law in an administration) and external administrative acts (they include the way in which the State orders and controls internal acts).
  • According to its purpose . Based on the reason why they are carried out, we can talk about preliminary administrative acts (they allow or facilitate the actions of the public administration), administrative acts of decision (unilateral declarations of will that record the modification of a subjective legal situation and punctual), or administrative acts of execution (those that force compliance with the resolutions taken).
  • According to who is destined . Taking into account who the administrative act falls on, we can distinguish between those of a general nature (when their recipients are not determined) and those of a singular nature (addressed to a specific recipient).
  1. Elements Of The Administrative Law (Act)

Every administrative act is composed of a series of elements that distinguish them from others, and which are:

  • Subject . The specific body that makes the declaration of will on behalf of the State, as long as it falls within its powers as established in the Constitution.
  • Competition . The amount of power that an entity possesses within the concert of public authorities, and that empowers it to carry out an administrative act, or not.
  • Will . The objective or subjective intention with which the administrative act is performed.
  • Object . That which falls on the administrative act, and that must be physically and legally possible.
  • Reason . The reason for the legal act.
  • Merit . The degree of adequacy of the administrative act with respect to the principle of proportionality of means and ends.
  • Shape . The materialization of the administrative act itself, that is, the external formation of the act.
  1. Examples Of Administrative Law (Acts)

administrative act public employment
Administrative acts may designate public offices for various employees.

The following may be an example of administrative acts:

  • Grant or deny pensions to natural persons.
  • Designate employees or applicants for public office .
  • Grant concessions for commercialization (import or export).
  • Grant licenses or tax exemptions.
  1. Nullity of an administrative act

There is talk of nullity in matters of the administrative act when it occurs without sufficient legal guarantees to legitimize it , or when it contradicts what is established in the legal system.

In those cases, a State agency may declare its nullity, express or tacit, and may hereafter cancel its effects (irretroactive nullity) or reverse its effects until the day of its celebration (retroactive nullity). On the other hand, the nullity can be declared totally or partially , depending on the original vice to which its existence has given rise.

  1. Effects of an administrative act

The specific effects of administrative acts depend in principle on what is established in the legal order and on what the act itself contemplates.

Thus, administrative acts produce legal effects, which can range from granting or revoking rights, to reversing decisions of other agencies , demanding compliance with conduct, etc. These effects are usually immediate and the State will be responsible for ensuring compliance.

  1. Administrative Fact and Administrative Act

The differences between an administrative fact and an administrative act are not always obvious. In principle, an administrative act is a declaration of will of the public administration. They create and extinguish rights, modify the legal order in the matter, and produce legal effects. For example, grant a tender to a private company to build a bridge.

On the contrary, an administrative fact is a legal fact that takes place without the will of the administration , although they do have legal effects on it. A legal fact is, as is known, something that happens but that has an impact on the legal reality of its competence.

Legal facts take place outside the administration, although they also have legal consequences . For example, the construction itself of the bridge prescribed by the company.

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