Administrative law vs. International law

Administrative law lays down the rules which shall guide the officers of the administration in their actions as agents of the government. International law, on the other hand, cannot be regarded as binding upon the officers of any government considered in their relation to their own government except insofar as it has been adopted into the administrative law of the state.

Administrative law is internal; it concerns itself with how the executive branch and other offices of the government work in their service to the people and their relation to each other. On the other hand, international law is inter-state; it concerns itself with the conduct of states in the global arena.

The main purpose of administrative law is the regulation of the quasi-legislative or rule-making power of administrative agencies and their quasi-judicial (adjudicatory) functions. The main purpose of international law is international peace.

CASE #1: As one of the public offices of the Government, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, through its Commissioner, has grown to be a typical administrative agency vested with a fusion of different governmental powers: the power to investigate, initiate action and control the range of investigation, the power to promulgate rules and regulations to better carry out statutory policies, and the power to adjudicate controversies within the scope of their activities. 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)
CASE #2: From the perspective of public international law, a treaty is favored over municipal law pursuant to the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Hence, "[e]very treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith."14 Further, a party to a treaty is not allowed to "invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty."(G.R. No. 151445)

The discussion above is based on an outline by De Leon and De Leon, Jr. (2010) in their book on administrative law, available in fine bookstores nationwide. SOURCE: De Leon and De Leon, Jr. (2010). Administrative Law: Text and Cases. 6th edition. ISBN 978-971-23-5670-4. Rex Books Store.

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