Rules and Principles Governing the Substance of Administrative Decision-Making

Herwig C.H. Hofmann, Gerard C. Rowe and Alexander H. TÜrk

in Administrative Law and Policy of the European Union

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199286485
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191730894 | DOI:
Rules and Principles Governing the Substance of Administrative Decision-Making

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This chapter deals with the rules and principles governing the substance of administrative decision-making, focusing on the scope of the administration's influence over the substance of decisions. In many instances, the European administration has been allocated a discretion or a margin of appreciation linked to its perceived expertise, or to its political role in the decision-making process. In other instances the relevant law, the application of which is entrusted to the administrative authorities, is more restrictive and determinative of the decision-making outcome. It is shown that such categories are far from absolute, and the boundaries between them not impermeable. Indeed, the scope for appreciation and the exercise of a discretion by the administration is rather to be seen as being on a sliding scale. That scope is relevant not only as regards the range of policy considerations which the administration can pursue or take into account, and its freedom of movement in doing so, but also for the degree to which the European courts are willing to engage with the substance of administrative action when supervising these in the context of judicial review.

Keywords: European administrative law; public administration; administrative decision-making; administrative action

Chapter.  9959 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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