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Evolution of Administrative Law

By: Janet Dawn Abines

Administrative agencies can be categorized into the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary.

Under these three main heads, all the administrative activities can be covered.

The primary purpose of the study of administrative law is to uncover how these administrative bodies can

be held within their limits so that discretionary powers cannot be converted into arbitrary powers. The

growth of administrative law goes hand-in-hand with the evolution of society. More correctly it can be said

that administrative law is the sociology of law rather than the theory of law. The main stages that resulted

in the expansion of the meaning of Administrative Law are the Laissez faire, Collectivism and the Social-

Welfare State.

Laissez faire is the belief that economies and businesses function best when there is no

interference by the government. It comes from the French, meaning to leave alone or to allow to do. It is

one of the guiding principles of capitalism and a free market economy. It is an economic system in which

transactions between tariffs, government subsidies and government regulation of private parties are

enforced only against fraud and sufficiently violent to protect property rights of Monopoly. It is generally a

theory or practice is that there is no control or interference, particularly with the freedom of choice and

action of the person. Scholars generally believe that there was no such thing as laissez faire or entirely free

market. An example of laissez faire is when a homeowner is allowed to plant whatever they want to grow

in their front yard without having to get permission from their city.

Police state is a totalitarian state controlled by a political police force that secretly supervises the

citizens' activities. It is the country where the government has strict controls and authoritarian social and

economic life and political rights. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social

control, and the executive usually has little or no distinction between law and exercise of political power. A

police state faces limits on its residents ' mobility and their freedom by expressing political or other opinions
that are subject to police surveillance or encounters with compliance. Some obvious examples of police

states include North Korea, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, to name just a few.

Welfare state is a system whereby the government undertakes to protect the health and well-being

of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need, by means of grants, pensions, and other

benefits. It is a state government's core role in protecting and promoting its citizens ' economic and social

welfare. It provides equal opportunity, a fair distribution of wealth and those who are not able to make use

of a better life for at least on the basis of the principle of public responsibility. Welfare state is funded by tax

redistribution, and often "mixed economy" is defined as a form of taxation usually involving a large income

tax, called a progressive tax, on people with higher incomes. Social Security, federally mandated

unemployment insurance programs, and welfare payments to people unable to work are all examples of

the welfare state. Most modern countries practice some elements of what is considered the welfare state.

Administrative power is the power to administer or enforce a law. Administrative powers can be

executive, legislative, or judicial in nature. Administrative power intends to carry the laws into effect,

practical application of laws and execution of the principles prescribed by the lawmaker. Securities and

Exchange Commission are one of the examples of administrative agencies. On the other hand,

administration is the performance of executive duties. It is the execution of public affairs as distinguished

from policy-making.

The police state and the welfare state differ in terms of their role of government, underlying political

philosophy, individual liberty and freedom, and the extent of power of the government.

The shift was necessary in the role of government and the transformation from a' police state' to a'

welfare state' on the need to offer more administrative power and need to regulate that power. The gradual

change in two directions, the opportunity to represent the rise in administrative law in some way versus

control, dispute and struggle for them. The law requires the discipline to have clarity in order to control this

complex relationship, and at the same time you can monitor the abuse of the entrusted administration.
The 19th century theory of laissez faire is depicted with minimum government control, free

enterprise and freedom of contract. The state situation had been characterized by law and order. The

function was restricted to the government's traditional role of being a protector. The Government is not

considered to be responsible for managing social and economic life. But the philosophy of laissez faire

meant human misery. It widened the inadvertent gap between the poor and the rich.

The concentration of wealth in a few hands thus contributed to the spread of poverty. Then there

was a realization that the state played an active part in alleviating the situation. This approach favors state

intervention, social control, and individual entrepreneurial development. Following the miserable

consequences that the police state suffered as a result of Laissez-Faire’s failure, the collectivism principle

evolved which states the State and individuals must work in proper synchronization. Thus, the growth of

administrative law is to be attributed to a philosophical change regarding the role and function of the state.

The conventional philosophy of' laissez faire' was a shift in the role of government, and thus the

transformation of the' police state' into the' welfare state' necessitated the need to place more authority on

the administration and at the same time the need to control this power. The welfare state must come into

direct relationship and experience with private citizens in effectively executing such large functions to attain

socio-economic justice, inevitability. Consequently, the achievement of socio-economic justice, being a

conscious aim of state policy, is a vast and inevitable increase in the frequency with which ordinary citizens

come into direct encounter with holders of state power. The main purpose of administrative law is to limit

the powers of government agencies and to keep administrative authorities in check.