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The Anatomy of Administrative Law

By: Joanna Bell
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Published: 25-11-2021
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 312
ISBN: 9781509943920
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £34.99
Online price : £31.49
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About The Anatomy of Administrative Law

This book seeks to further our understanding of the nature of administrative law doctrine and adjudication. It has three main aims. The first is to improve understanding of administrative law's 'anatomy' by pulling the subject apart and exploring the nature of the legal structures at play in adjudication. In doing so, the book emphasises three main ways in which administrative law's anatomy is both complex and diverse, namely:

- administrative law doctrine interacts with a broad array of legislative frameworks;
- administrative law adjudication seeks to accommodate a variety of legal values; and,
- administrative law is concerned with legal relationships of different kinds.

The second aim is to illustrate the importance of recognising the complexity and variety of administrative law's anatomy in three particular doctrinal contexts: procedural review, legitimate expectations and standing.

The third and final aim is to raise an important but under-explored question: is it plausible and useful to attempt to make sense of administrative law doctrine by reference to a singular organising concept or principle?

The overarching message of the book is one of cynicism. The complexity and variety of administrative law's legal structures probably means that attempts to explain the field 'monistically', while they may capture important themes, will be unhelpfully reductionist. Ambitious and thought-provoking, this is an important new statement on administrative law.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
I. What is 'Administrative Law'?
II. The Book's Three Main Aims
III. The Trajectory of Argument: An Overview of the Book's Chapters
IV. Scope
V. Conclusion
2. The Development of Modern Administrative Law
I. Administrative Law's Modern History
II. Two Core Lessons
III. Conclusion
3. The Anatomy of Administrative Law
I. First Sense of Complexity and Variety: The Interrelationship of Administrative Law Doctrine and the Legislative Framework in the Background of the Case
II. Second Sense of Complexity and Variety: Administrative Law Protects an Array of Different Values, Purposes and Interests
III. Third Sense of Complexity and Variety: Administrative Law Adjudication Concerns Different Kinds of Legal Relationship
IV. Conclusion
4. Procedural Review
I. What is 'Procedural Review'?
II. The Evolution of Procedural Review
III. Why is it Proving Difficult to Develop an Overarching Account of Procedural Fairness?
IV. Do the Difficulties in Developing a General Account of Procedural Review Indicate a Lack of Structure
in Judicial Reasoning?
V. Conclusion
5. Legitimate Expectations
I. What is a 'Legitimate Expectations' Case?
II. The Development of Legitimate Expectations
III. Why is an Overarching Explanation of Legitimate Expectations Proving Elusive?
IV. Is the Law Characterised by Unpredictability, Incoherence and Lack of Judicial Restraint?
V. Conclusion
6. Standing
I. The Evolution of Standing
II. Why has a Singular Approach to Standing not Emerged?
III. How do the Courts Determine Whether an Applicant has a Sufficient Interest?
IV. Conclusion
7. Monism
I. Two Monistic Accounts of Administrative Law and their Deficiencies
II. The Appeals of Monism
III. Conclusion
8. Conclusion
I. The Three Main Aims of the Book Revisited
II. Practical Implications
III. Final Words


“Bell concludes, as do I, that no attempt to render various doctrines coherent could be a purely descriptive exercise, but this is no bar to accounts that strive to promote intelligibility by explaining the causes and nature of doctrinal complexity, including by reference to values, and by helping readers to understand why the law is not coherent. Such intricacy and complexity, as revealed in The Anatomy of Administrative Law, is neither anaemic nor unsatisfying, and no less aesthetically pleasing than the red rose gracing the book's front cover.” –  Sarah Nason, Bangor Law School, Modern Law Review

“There are times when one has the pleasure of reading a scholarly book so clear and powerfully argued that the primary risk is of repetitive strain injury caused by nodding along so vigorously at its approach and conclusions. Dr Bell's The Anatomy of Administrative Law is such a book … Dr Bell has made an invaluable contribution which deserves to be read widely by all those who spend their time dissecting the anatomy of administrative law.” –  C J S Knight, 11KBW, Public Law

“This is an important book, with the grand ambition of persuading people not to search too hard for grand theories, and that works for me.” –  Mark Aronson, Australian Journal of Administrative Law

The Anatomy of Administrative Law is a major contribution to modern scholarship. It does not simply rake over familiar ground … Instead, it tells us how to approach the law, and how to approach scholarship. It is clear that Bell's work reveals a real love for her subject, and an enthusiasm for best revealing it to others.” –  Alistair Mills, Landmark Chambers, Cambridge Law Journal

“A must-read for administrative law scholars, as it offers a highly practical way in which to understand the work carried out in administrative adjudication ... this book is highly recommended.” –  Richard Kirkham, University of Sheffield, UK Administrative Justice Institute Blog

“Scholarly and well-written, with plenty of valuable insights on topics of contemporary controversy … The Anatomy of Administrative Law will no doubt be seen as amongst the most important books on the topic of administrative law doctrine in first quarter of the 21st Century.” –  Joe Tomlinson, Public Law Project, Administrative Law in the Common Law World Blog

“The fundamental virtue of this book is that Bell is making an argument for a distinctive scholarly method in the study of administrative law adjudication … Bell shows the benefits of studying legal structures and legal reasoning in more detail.” –  Liz Fisher, University of Oxford, Administrative Law in the Common Law World Blog

“An important book, well worth reading from front to back and with care … Dr Bell's excellent book is … an important reminder to those of us who seek a coherent set of values capable of unifying the general principles of administrative law that our search must have careful regard to the heterogeneity of contemporary administrative law. To understand the subject, we must first understand its anatomy.” –  Paul Daly, University of Ottawa, Administrative Law in the Common Law World Blog

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