3 concerns of administrative law


Administrative law concerns itself with three things: private rights, delegated powers and combined powers. De Leon (2010) has pointed out that the first one is its chief concern. Below is a short discussion regarding these concerns. This is based on De Leon's outline in his 2010 book on administrative law,  available in fine bookstores nationwide.

PRIVATE RIGHTS. The chief concern of administrative law is the protection of private rights, and its subject matter is, therefore, the nature and the mode of exercise of administrative power and the system of relief against administrative action. In other words, administrative power must be exercised in such a way that private rights are not injured and, in case of injury, there should be a grievance procedure.

The protection of private rights is an essential constituent of public interest and, conversely, without a well-ordered state there could be no enforcement of private rights. Private and public interests are, both in substantive and procedural sense, aspects of the totality of the legal order. (G.R. No. L-24053. February 27, 1976)

CASE: Instead, assuming administrative review were available, it is the NEDA that may conduct such review following the principles of administrative law, and the NEDA’s decision in turn is reviewable by the Office of the President. The decision of the Office of the President then effectively substitutes as the determination of the Tariff Commission, which now forms the basis of the DTI Secretary’s decision, which now would be ripe for judicial review by the CTA under Section 29 of the SMA. This is the only way that administrative review of the Tariff Commission’s determination may be sustained without violating the SMA and its constitutional restrictions and limitations, as well as administrative law. (G.R. No. 158540. August 3, 2005)

POWERS. Generally speaking, administrative law is concerned with officers and agencies exercising delegated powers and not with the exercise of the constitutional powers of the President. It is concerned with and results from a fusion of different types of governmental powers in certain public officers which are part of the executive branch of the government including a coercive power over individuals, since the exercise of this type of power by this type of officer runs afoul of the fundamental and traditional principle of separation of powers.

The last preceding paragraph is to say that the exercise by the President of his constitutional powers is not the concern of administrative law. Such is the concern of political law. Administrative law confines itself within the executive branch of the government, that arm which executes the law. In other words, administrative law deals more with the chain of command from the President to certain public officers that are liable answerable to him directly, especially those who are considered his alter ego (the secretaries or cabinet members).

Beyond the executive branch, administrative law also extends and here is where private rights come into the picture. In the exercise of their power to executive the law, administrative officers may have to (and often, if not always, this happens) interfere with life, liberty and property, which are aspects of the people's civil life, protected by no less than the 1987 Constitution.
While administrative law is concerned with the impact of the administrative process on private rights, in certain areas there is applicable a specific principle that particular administrative agencies are created to protect the public interest and not to vindicate private rights. Public rights and private rights are often intermingled. Rights at some times are characterized by the body of law (public or private) from which they are derived. Perhaps the most usual differentiation is between the legal rights or duties enforced through the administrative process and those left to enforcement on private initiative in the courts. (De Leon and De Leon, Jr. [2010], citing 1 Am. Jur. 2d 807)

SOURCE: De Leon and De Leon, Jr. (2010). Administrative Law: Text and Cases. 6th edition. ISBN 978-971-23-5670-4. Rex Books Store. https://www.rexestore.com/law-library-essentials/984-administrative-law-text-and-casesrevised-edition.html

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