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Administrative Discretion

action exercise judgment official

The exercise of professional expertise and judgment, as opposed to strict adherence to regulations or statutes, in making a decision or performing official acts or duties.

A discretionary action is informal and, therefore, unprotected by the safeguards inherent in formal procedure. A public official, for example, has administrative discretion when he or she has the freedom to make a choice among potential courses of action. ABUSE OF DISCRETION is the failure to exercise reasonable judgment or discretion. It might provide a CAUSE OF ACTION for an unconstitutional invasion of rights protected by the DUE PROCESS CLAUSE of the Constitution.

Administrative Law and Procedure - Separation Of Powers, Delegation Of Authority, Due Process Of Law, Political Controls Over Agency Action—legislative And Executive Oversight [next] [back] Administrative Conference of the United States - Further Readings

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