We explain what Administrative Law is, its principles, characteristics and branches. In addition, its sources and examples.
What is administrative law?
Administrative law is the branch of law that studies the organization, duties and functions of the State and its institutions , especially the powers of the executive branch . Its name comes from the Latin minister (“handle common affairs”).
Administrative law is linked to the Public Administration as a field of study. It also has theoretical and practical links with disciplines such as sociology , economics , psychology , political science and other branches of law such as criminal , constitutional and international.
In its observation of everything related to the management of the State, administrative law always maintains a double objective: to guarantee the effectiveness of public administration and the various processes involved, as well as the protection of the rights of individuals in their relations with that.
Origin of administrative law
The origins of administrative law date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, with the Liberal Revolutions that overthrew the old regime and opened the door of the republican world in the West.
Thus, it is a relatively young branch of law , born alongside the declaration of human rights and equality before the law of citizens . That is to say that it arose together with the Liberal State.
The first body in charge of exercising it was the French State Council . He was in charge of supervising the power of the State, since at that time the judges from the Old Feudal Regime were distrusted to serve as a single counterweight to the State.
Characteristics of administrative law
Administrative law is characterized by being:
- Common , since its principles apply to various administrative matters and in all instances of the State.
- Autonomous , because it obeys its own general principles.
- Local , because it responds to the legal-political organization of each country.
- Exorbitant , since its scope exceeds private law: wherever there is a State, there will also be an administrative right.
Principles of administrative law
There are four general principles of Administrative Law (although they are not the only ones that exist), known as principles of the administrative procedure:
- Principle of objective legality . It establishes that every act emanating from a public power must occur in perfect agreement with the current law and its jurisdiction, and not with the subjectivities involved, that is, at the will of the people .
- Principle of officiality . It states that the initiation, impulse and development of judicial and / or administrative processes must always depend on a body of public power, and not on the will of the individuals involved.
- Principle of informalism in favor of the administered . It establishes that citizens must be judged independently of the fulfillment of certain formal obligations, so that certain formal rigor does not hinder the search for a just solution for their case.
- Principle of due process or defense guarantee . It states that the State must respect all the rights enshrined in the law of a person, regardless of the seriousness of the crimes presumed to have been committed or proven to have been committed. This implies the possibility of a defense, of a law trial under objective conditions and of a punishment proportional to the seriousness of the crime committed, among other things.
Sources of administrative law
The main source of Administrative Law is the Constitution (or the corresponding Magna Carta), as with other branches of law. Among its sources is also the legislation with its organic, ordinary and enabling laws.
Subsequently, the Administrative Law is governed by the regulations and regulations of each institution and / or state organization , and ultimately by the doctrines, social facts and customs of a nation (customary law).
Branches of administrative law
Administrative law includes the following subdivisions or branches:
- Organic Administrative Law . Study all forms and principles of administration equally.
- Functional administrative law . It focuses on the study of the formal activity of the State, that is, its administrative procedures and acts.
- Administrative procedural law . Study the rules that govern the actions of the State.
- Environmental law . It focuses on environmental protection.
- Urban law . Study the rules that govern the construction and design of cities.
- Customs law . Study the customs regime and control over imports and exports of a country.
- Immigration law . It focuses on the state norms that regulate foreigners and the establishment in a country.
- Road law . Study the rules governing the layout of roads, roads and traffic.
- Municipal law . Study the way in which the State divides itself into smaller and local sections (municipalities).
- Procurement . It deals with the regulations governing the entry of new personnel to the work of the Public Administration.
Examples of administrative law
They serve as an example of the application of Administrative Law any process of regulation of the actions carried out by public bodies, such as the trial and sentence of a criminal by the respective courts.
Also an example is the challenge of an election in which the fundamental principles contemplated in the Constitution were not guaranteed, or even the act of “ impeachment ” or dismissal of a public official because it is considered to have disrespected the fundamental administrative principles.