Administrative adjudication is the latest addition to administrative techniques. Administrative adjudication means the determination of questions of a judicial or quasi-judicial nature by an administrative department or agency. Like an ordinary court, administrative bodies listen to the parties, examine the evidence and make a decision in cases where legal rights or obligations are involved.
In the words of L D. White, “administrative adjudication means the investigation and settlement of a dispute involving a private party on the basis of a law and an act made by an administrative agency.”
Prof. Dimock defines administrative adjudication as the process by which administrative agencies resolve problems that arise in the course of their work when legal rights are questioned.
Blachly and Oatman describe administrative courts or Administrative Courts as “authorities outside the ordinary judicial system that interpret and apply the laws when acts of public administration are attacked in formal lawsuits or by other established methods.
Administrative adjudication agencies may include: (a) ministers; (b) the head of the department (permanent); (c) a ministerial court; (d) a special committee or commission such as the Independent Regulatory Commissions; (e) specialized law courts; (f) single member court; (g) compound court.
The main point of difference between administrative adjudication and the administration of justice by the courts is that administrative justice is administered by administrative agencies rather than ordinary courts. Administrative courts follow the principles of law and evidence. Administrative courts are run by officials belonging to the executive branch, while judges are members of the judiciary independent of executive control.
Types of administrative adjudication
The administrative adjudication can take the following forms:
- The administrative advisory adjudication that means that the power of the final decision rests with the head of the department or other authority
- The administrative adjudication may constitute a part of the regular functions of an administrative officer.
- The administrative adjudication can be combined with a legislative administrative process.
- Regular lawsuits may be filed against an administrative decision.
- The administrative adjudication can be adopted for the settlement of claims.
- Administrative adjudication can sometimes serve as a precondition for the performance of an administrative act.
Causes of the growth of administrative adjudication
The following causes have led to the growth of the administrative award:
a. A byproduct of the welfare state
Administrative courts that grant administrative justice constitute a byproduct of the welfare state. With the emergence of the welfare state, social interest began to take precedence over individual rights. The existing judiciary could not maintain the new system. The new system of administrative adjudication was adapted to the new social purposes advocated by a welfare state. It turned out to be a potential instrument to enforce social policy and legislation.
b. Suitable for industrialized and urbanized societies
The administrative adjudication also adapts to the modern industrialized and urbanized society. The industrialized society needs a positive and rapid action that is possible if the problems that arise from the new order are not left at the mercy of the ordinary courts.
C. Security to guarantee
A good number of situations are those that require fast and firm action; otherwise, the health and safety of people may be in danger. Such cases, if treated in ordinary courts of justice, would cause immense loss to the state treasury and undermine national prestige.
d. Standards of conduct to be devised
The main business of ordinary courts is to resolve disputes and not establish standards of human behavior. It is up to the legislature to establish such standards. The legislature is not in a position to prescribe with exact details the pattern of conduct. This power is delegated by the legislature to the administration. Disputes arising from the application of these rules can be adequately addressed only by administrative courts.