1 minute read

Administrative Law and Procedure

Separation Of Powers, Delegation Of Authority, Due Process Of Law, Political Controls Over Agency Action—legislative And Executive Oversight

Administrative law is the body of law that allows for the creation of public regulatory agencies and contains all of the statutes, judicial decisions, and regulations that govern them. It is created by administrative agencies to implement their powers and duties in the form of rules, regulations, orders, and decisions. Administrative procedure constitutes the methods and processes before administrative agencies, as distinguished from judicial procedure, which applies to courts.

The Administrative Procedure Act (5U.S.C.A. §§ 551–706 [Supp. 1993]) governs the practice and proceedings before federal administrative agencies. The procedural rules and regulations of most federal agencies are set forth in the CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR).

The fundamental challenge of administrative law is in designing a system of checks that will minimize the risks of bureaucratic arbitrariness and overreaching, while preserving for the agencies the flexibility that they need in order to act effectively. Administrative law thus seeks to limit the powers and actions of agencies and to fix their place in our scheme of government and law. It contrasts with traditional notions that the three branches of the U.S. government must be kept separate, that they must not delegate their responsibilities to bureaucrats, and that the formalities of due process must be observed.


Lubbers, Jeffrey S., ed. 2003. Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice (annual). Chicago, Ill.: Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, American Bar Association.

Rosenbloom, David H. 1997. Public Administration and Law. 2d ed. New York: M. Dekker.


Administrative Conference of the United States; Federal Budget; Veto. See also entries for specific federal agencies (e.g., Food and Drug Administration).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Additional voluntary contribution (AVC) to Airspace