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Administrative LawText and Materials

Administrative Law: Text and Materials (5th edn)

Mark Elliott and Jason N. E. Varuhas
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date: 24 March 2023

p. 11. Introductory Matterslocked

p. 11. Introductory Matterslocked

  • Mark ElliottMark ElliottProfessor of Public Law, University of Cambridge
  •  and Jason VaruhasJason VaruhasAssociate Professor, University of Melbourne


This introduction provides an overview of administrative law and administrative power in the UK. It begins with a discussion of the ‘red light’ and ‘green light’ theories of administrative law, along with judicial review. In particular, it considers the scope and intensity of judicial review, why judicial review is expanding, and whether (more) judicial review is a good thing. It then examines the debate about the constitutional basis of judicial review, focusing on the ultra vires doctrine and its modified version, and whether judicial review must be related to legislative intention. It also explains administrative power in the modern UK constitution, paying attention to the main features of the devolution systems, the powers and nature of the devolved institutions, the political and legal accountability of devolved administrations, and the powers of the local government.

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