Administrative Law

I remember that during Constitutional Law class last year, we were told that our Consti is the framework for our nation. It is like the skeleton on which the Law is cloaked. Yesterday, I learned that Administrative Law, is the meat the binds the skeleton together.

Succinctly, in my own words, Administrative Law is about the exercise of Power granted by the Consti and matters related to it including remedies. However, it cannot exist on its own and has to always fall back onto the Consti.

That is why, all study of Administrative Law must begin with the analysis of the Consti. I have to thank our lecturer, Dr Gan, for introducing us to interesting constitutions from other countries such as India, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

India, so that we can see where our founding fathers screwed up when drafting the Consti. Where a simple switch of injunctive and conjunctive weakened the provision of A.14 of the Indian constitution into A.8 of our Consti on equality.

Hong Kong, so that we can see the genius of A.39 of their Basic Law, which imported various international laws on human rights into the SAR such that the people are protected against the powerful Communist regime.

South Africa, so that we can see how a Dream constitution is constructed with so many provisions to protect the people against all forms of oppression from organs of power in order to prevent Apartheid from ever happening again.

Compared to these countries, our Consti is very weak indeed, and made weaker by the many amendments over the years. The study of this subject is going to open my eyes up to bad policies and worse judgements. One word – Public Interest Litigation.

This subject is going to be interesting indeed.

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Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

2 thoughts on “Administrative Law”

  1. Hi. Can I get your advice how to study admin? I feel it is more vast than Consti. I have Prof Gan’s notes but it it is kind of difficult to read and understand. Hope you can give some advice how to study this subject. Thank you.

    1. I’m not even sure if I pass, yet!

      But yes, it is wider than Consti. Consti is at least limited by the Constitution. Admin Law, everything boleh pakai, including foreign Consti and foreign cases. Ultimately, it is still about justice even if it may be couched in different words such as proportionality, unreasonableness, etc.

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