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Proven sources of Administrative Law

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Administrative Law in simple words can be understood as the law relating to the administrative operation of government. It is regarding how administrative bodies perform their duties by exercising their rights. If you want to understand the same in-depth, please refer to this blog:

Now, Administrative law has its own sources. Let’s have a look.

Judicial Decisions:

  • It is also known as Judicial Precedents. These are the past judgements to refer back for guidance in future cases. Judicial Decisions are uncodified laws of India. It is unwritten, uncodified and made by judges.

  • It is binding or advisory on tribunals and courts when a case having a similar fact arises before it.

  • Similar cases or similar outlines of facts are the key criteria for deciding whether apply judicial precedents or not.

  • There are various types of precedents such as declaratory, original, persuasive, authoritative etc.

  • India has a single constitution judicial system. Only one apex body i.e. Supreme Court is responsible for the interpretation of the law. In such a scenario, the Judicial Precedents specifically derived from the Supreme Court, allow us to make sure that India is following a uniform legal system.

  • Examples of Judicial Decisions can be Judgements passed by the Supreme Court.

The Constitution:

  • India has a written and lengthy Constitution which is the ultimate and supreme law of land. It clearly segregates administrative, legislative, state and union power.

  • In India, every state and union must act in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.

  • It is a well-established mechanism that if it is a rule or regulation, it must confirm Constitution and Parent Act.


  • It is the principal source of administrative power. It originates from the Constitution.

  • The Lawmaking process is established in the hands of Parliament and obedience if the same is in the hands of the state. It is to be effectively done using administrative powers.

  • The ideal statute can provide administrative procedures, dispute resolution mechanisms, state liability etc.

Committee Reports:

  • Reports submitted by various committees can also be considered a good source of administrative law.

  • In India, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were established to scrutinize and closely examine the delegated legislation. Through these committees, parliamentary control is established over delegated legislation.

  • In many countries like England, Frank’s Committee Report on tribunals and enquiry has played a significant role in improving the working of administrative tribunals in England.

Rules, Regulations etc:

  • Rules and regulations, Departmental Circulars, Manuals, Orders, Schemes etc can be regarded as a source of administrative law.

Administrative Practice:

  • It is a practice that is followed by various administrative authorities and agencies.

  • Administrative Practice is one of the effective ways to ensure uniform practices in implementing the policies.

  • It serves the purpose of providing desired flexibility to the administration and decision-making process.

Rule of Natural Justice:

  • This is one of the jurisprudence used in delivering fair and just results/judgements.

  • The rule of natural justice consists of three components -

  1. One cannot be a judge in his own cause (Nemo Judex in Causa Sua)

  2. Hear the other side (Audi alteram partem)

  3. Spaking order or reasoned order

  • It is said that these rules are intended to prevent such authorities from doing injustice.


Thus, Administrative Law settles the dispute between the executive and administrative authorities and it also ensures a uniform legal approach.

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