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Abuse of discretion in Administrative Law

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HomeBrud.gifAdministrative LawBrud.gifAdministrative discretionBrud.gifAbuse of discretion in Administrative Law


Administrators at various agencies, particularly Governmental agencies, have to deal with a wide variety of issues every day. Many of these issues require the use of a degree of discretion power of the administrator to resolve the issue.

Abuse of Discretion

Abuse is the failure to take into proper consideration of fact and law relating to a particular matter, an arbitrary or unreasonable departure from precedent and settled judicial custom.

Areas where abuse is most likely to occur

The principal areas where abuses of discretion could occur are:

  • Determinations of Questions of "fact"
  • Situations where the "intent" of victim is crucial in determining the impact
  • Areas where impact of victim, beneficial or otherwise, depends on a determination of, or consent by the administrator as Delegated by Statute
  • In the exercise of the delegated authority to implement the bare outlines of the enabling statute with activating regulations and other internal directives.


If "abuse" of administrative "discretion" is properly defined, its existence is not wide-spread. There is room for additional statutory "relief" which would tend to reduce situations where "abuses" may occur at the administrative level. The process of review and interference by courts should be unfettered from some of the present restrains.

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