8 scopes of administrative law

Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agency action can include rule making, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law. (Administrative law. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_law)

This discussion is based on the outline by De Leon and De Leon, Jr. (2010). For a copy of their book, please see the citation below. Broadly conceived, administrative law covers the following:

[1] STRUCTURE. The law which fixes the administrative organization and structure of the government;

In administrative law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. Such is the import of the provisions of section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code and 37 of Act No. 4007.

The Congress has expressly and specifically lodged the provincial supervision over municipal officials in the provincial governor who is authorized to "receive and investigate complaints made under oath against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude." And if the charges are serious, "he shall submit written charges touching the matter to the provincial board, furnishing a copy of such charges to the accused either personally or by registered mail, and he may in such case suspend the officer (not being the municipal treasurer) pending action by the board, if in his opinion the charge be one affecting the official integrity of the officer in question." Section 86 of the Revised Administrative Code adds nothing to the power of supervision to be exercised by the Department Head over the administration of . . . municipalities . . .. If it be construed that it does and such additional power is the same authority as that vested in the Department Head by section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code, then such additional power must be deemed to have been abrogated by section 10 (1), Article VII, of the Constitution. (G.R. No. L-7708)

[2] ENFORCEMENT. The law, the execution or enforcement of which is entrusted to administrative authorities;

In the realm of administrative law, we understand that such an empowerment of administrative agencies was evolved in response to the needs of a changing society. This development arose as the need for broad social control over complex conditions and activities became more and more pressing, and such complexity could no longer be dealt with effectivity and directly by the legislature or the judiciary. The theory which underlies the empowerment of administrative agencies like the Bureau of Internal Revenue, is that the issues with which such agencies deal ought to be decided by experts, and not be a judge, at least not in the first instance or until the facts have been sifted and arranged. (G.R. No. 119761)

[3] ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS. The law which governs public officers including their competence (to act), rights, duties, liabilities, election, etc.;

It is an elementary rule in administrative law and the law on public officers that a public office may be created through any of the following modes, to wit, either (1) by the Constitution (fundamental law), (2) by law (statute duly enacted by Congress), or (3) by authority of law. Verily, Congress can delegate the power to create positions. This has been settled by decisions of the Court upholding the validity of reorganization statutes authorizing the President to create, abolish or merge offices in the executive department. Thus, at various times, Congress has vested power in the President to reorganize executive agencies and redistribute functions, and particular transfers under such statutes have been held to be within the authority of the President. (G.R. No. 138200)

G.R. No. L-9553: It is frequently said that a presumption of regularity the performance of administrative duties. That is, when an act has been completed, it is to be supposed that the act was done in the manner prescribed and by an officer authorized by law to do it. The presumption is of course a rebuttable one, but the bare allegation that there has been a failure to observe statutory requirements has been regarded as a mere conclusion of the pleader; where the administrative order is accompanied by a statement that there has been compliance and there is no showing of fact to the contrary, the presumption of regularity is ordinarily sufficient to support the official act of a public officer. (Administrative Law — Cases and Comments by Gellhorn, pp. 315-316.)

[4] ADMINISTRATIVE POWERS. The law which creates administrative agencies, defines their powers and functions, prescribes their procedures, including the adjudication or settlement by them of contested matters involving private interests;

This rule was further explained in the of The Central Bank of the Philippines vs. Cloribel, et al. to wit:

It is also clear from the authorities that where the function of the administrative body is legislative, notice of hearing is not required by due process of law (See Oppenheimer, Administrative Law, 2 Md. L.R. 185, 204, supra, where it is said: 'If the nature of the administrative agency is essentially legislative, the requirements of notice and hearing are not necessary. The validity of a rule of future action which affects a group, if vested rights of liberty or property are not involved, is not determined according to the same rules which apply in the case of the direct application of a policy to a specific individual) ... It is said in 73 C.J.S. Public Administrative Bodies and Procedure, sec. 130, pages 452 and 453: 'Aside from statute, the necessity of notice and hearing in an administrative proceeding depends on the character of the proceeding and the circumstances involved. In so far as generalization is possible in view of the great variety of administrative proceedings, it may be stated as a general rule that notice and hearing are not essential to the validity of administrative action where the administrative body acts in the exercise of executive, administrative, or legislative functions; but where a public administrative body acts in a judicial or quasi-judicial matter, and its acts are particular and immediate rather than general and prospective, the person whose rights or property may be affected by the action is entitled to notice and hearing. (G.R. No. 84818)
[5] REMEDIES. The law which provides the remedies, administrative or judicial, available to those aggrieved by administrative actions or decisions;

[6] RELIEF. The law which governs judicial review of, or relief against, administrative actions or decisions;

[7] RULES AND REGULATIONS. The rules, regulations, orders and decisions (including presidential proclamations) made by administrative authorities dealing with the interpretation and enforcement of the laws entrusted to their administration; and

G.R. No. L-16704: There can be no doubt that there is a distinction between an administrative rule or regulation and an administrative interpretation of a law whose enforcement is entrusted to an administrative body. When an administrative agency promulgates rules and regulations, it "makes" a new law with the force and effect of a valid law, while when it renders an opinion or gives a statement of policy, it merely interprets a pre-existing law (Parker, Administrative Law, p. 197; Davis, Administrative Law, p. 194). Rules and regulations when promulgated in pursuance of the procedure or authority conferred upon the administrative agency by law, partake of the nature of a statute, and compliance therewith may be enforced by a penal sanction provided in the law. This is so because statutes are usually couched in general terms, after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives, remedies and sanctions intended by the legislature. The details and the manner of carrying out the law are often times left to the administrative agency entrusted with its enforcement. In this sense, it has been said that rules and regulations are the product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have the effect of law. (Davis, op. cit., p. 194.)

It is an axiom in administrative law that administrative authorities should not act arbitrarily and capriciously in the issuance of rules and regulations. To be valid, such rules and regulations must be reasonable and fairly adapted to the end in view. If shown to bear no reasonable relation to the purposes for which they are authorized to be issued, then they must be held to be invalid. (G.R. No. 77372)

[8] JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL PRINCIPLES. The body of judicial decisions and doctrines dealing with any of the above.

Thus, administrative law embraces not only the law that governs administrative authorities, i.e., the Constitution (pertinent provisions thereof), statutes, and judicial decisions that construe and apply them as well as appropriate principles of justice and equity in particular cases, but also the law made by administrative authorities, i.e., rules, regulations, orders and decisions, whether of general or particular applicability.

By the term administrative authorities, as used here, is meant all those public officers and organs (i.e., administrative agencies) of the government that are charged with the amplification, application and execution of the law, but do not include, by virtue of the doctrine of separation of powers, Congress and the regular courts.

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


The doctrine of primary jurisdiction holds that if a case is such that its determination requires the expertise, specialized training and knowledge of an administrative body, relief must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding before resort to the courts is had even if the matter may well be within their proper jurisdiction. It applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, have been placed within the special competence of an administrative agency. In such a case, the court in which the claim is sought to be enforced may suspend the judicial process pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view or, if the parties would not be unfairly disadvantaged, dismiss the case without prejudice. (G.R. No. 148106)

The opinion of the Court, ably penned by Justice Martin, is both learned and comprehensive. It reflects the current state of doctrinal pronouncements in American Administrative Law, which up to now possesses worth in this jurisdiction. It is in accordance with the views expressed in two authoritative American treatises that of Davis and that of Jaffe. The compact but highly useful text of Parker yields the same conclusion. A similar approach may be discerned in the casebooks of Katz, and McFarland and Vanderbelt. A concurrence is thus called for. That for me does not conclude matters though. The constitutional rights of a person who may be involved in such administrative investigation, call for respect. A recognition of the expanded reach of the administrative process in order to assure that the objectives of a regulatory statute be attained cannot obscure the protection that the Constitution affords a person who may find himself in the position of a respondent. It is worthwhile to my mind that there be a reference, even if far from detailed, to such an aspect. Hence this separate opinion. (FERNANDO, J., concurring in G.R. No. L-29274)