LAW41810 Advanced Administrative Law 1

Academic Year 2023/2024

Judicial review is the individual's remedy for the correction of illegal action by public agencies or officers. Judicial review is also one of the most common legal processes in the superior courts. The remedy by way of judicial review is available only where the administrative agency commits one from a catalogue of recognised varieties of legal mal-administration. Breach of one of these doctrines renders administrative action unlawful (or ultra vires). There are nine principal categories: (i) bias, (ii) disregard of fair procedures, (iii) breach of legitimate expectations, (iv) unlawful delegation, (v) error of fact, (vi) lack of proportionality, (vii) fettering of the decision making function, (viii) error of law, and (ix) abuse of public power (acting for an improper purpose, bad faith, inequality). This module is concerned with the study of these nine doctrines. The module will also cover the theoretical basis of administrative law, political versus legal controls on the administration, general principles of judicial review, jurisdiction and the ultra vires doctrine.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students should be able to: demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the legal doctrine in Ireland and England relating to legitimate expectations, factual error, proportionality, bias, fair procedures, error of law, unlawful delegation, bias, and abuse of public power. Students should also be able to apply the law relating to the grounds of review of administrative action to a complex hypothetical problem.

Indicative Module Content:

Topic one. Weeks one and two. Bias (The categories of bias, including financial bias and political bias; the tests for determining bias; waiver of bias; the ‘one-biased- member-infects all’ principle; the disclosure principle). Topic two. Weeks three to four. Fair procedures (The contents of fair procedures: oral hearing; compliance with the rules of civil evidence; cross-examination and hearsay; legal representation; public hearing; paid legal representation; reasons for administrative action; access to documentation; standards of proof; disposal of proceedings within a reasonable time; double jeopardy. The impact of Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights). Topic three. Weeks five and six. The doctrine of legitimate expectation:
(Sources of legitimate expectation; the conditions to establishing a prima facie enforceable expectation; the conditions to reversal of a legitimate expectation; legitimate expectation and illegal representations). Topic four. Week seven. ( The proportionality doctrine: The structure and intensity of proportionality review). Topic five. Week nine. Review of factual error: (The general rule against review of factual error. The exceptions: the condition precedent doctrine; error of fact; unreasonable evaluation; fair procedures and evidential determinations; the Bugdaycay ‘anxious scrutiny’ principle). Topic six. Week ten. The rule against delegation. (The rule against constructive delegation. The Carltona doctrine). Topic seven. Week ten. Error of law. Topic eight. Week eleven. The abuse of public power (Unreasonableness; bad faith; inconsistency; the irrelevant considerations doctrine and the problem of duality of motive; the rule against fettering).

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Advanced Administrative Law 1 is made up of a series of doctrines developed through case law. The approach will involve an analysis of the case law and of the policy underlying that case law. The lectures and seminars will involve a heavy emphasis on problem solving exercises. The module will be supported with presentations, and texts based on the lectures. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
LAW30240 - Administrative Law Doctrine, LAW40910 - Public Law in Practice

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Two hour examination made up of two parts: Part A (problem question) and Part B (essay type section). 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual feedback is offered for the assignment. General feedback on the examination will be circulated in a document setting out the nature of the material which the examiners expected to be present in the answers, and identifying common errors and misunderstanding.

Name Role
Dr Sahar Ahmed Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 11:00 - 12:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 5, 7, 9, 11 Tues 14:00 - 15:50