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Institutional Decision

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HomeBrud.gifAdministrative LawBrud.gifInstitutional Decision

Natural Law says that one who decides the case should hear the case. However, this is not always possible, particularly in departmental decision making.

Institutional Decisions are decisions taken by a large number of people who take part in the collective decision making process. The decision is a result of institutions and institutional process rather than that of one designated person.

Advantages / Need

  • Some issues are complex requiring special skills, expertise, opinions and views of a number of people rather than just one individual.
  • Ministers responsible to take decisions function through officers of his department.

Disadvantages

  • Decision making process becomes complex
    • Clouds responsibility
  • Makes decision making difficult to evaluate.

Statute provisions

United States of America

  • The Administrative Procedure Act, 1946 has the provisions regulating institutional decisions
    • When the decision maker does not conduct the hearing, the hearing officer is required to make a recommendation which shall include
      • Statement of findings
      • Conclusions
      • Reasons or basis there of upon the material of facts, law or discretion presented on record.
    • Act also included provisions for ensuring the impartiality of hearing officers.

Recent Cases / Related Cases / Case Law

  • Local Government Board V Arlidge
    • House of Lords decided the validity of institutional decisions.
    • Decision of Local Government Board was challenged on the ground that the aggrieved person was not allowed to appear before the official who actually decide the matter.
    • Held that it is not necessary that a person who decides must hear the person affected.
  • Bushell V Secretary of State for the Environment
    • Held that there is no violation of natural justice when the deciding Minister took departmental advice after local inquiry while deciding whether he should confirm a scheme or not.
  • India v Sripathi Renjam
    • The power of adjudication is exercised by officials authorized to do so under the Rules of Business
  • Labh Singh v Union of India
    • Challenge on sub-delegation
    • Held contention of Chief Settlement Commissioner to be rejected even though he is higher in rank to Deputy Secretary because the act / decision of Deputy Secretary is deemed to be that of the Central Government.
  • Travancore Rayons v India
    • Government order was in printed form signed by a Joint Secretary.
    • Supreme Court of India expressed dissatisfaction and said the party approaching the Government in exercise of a statutory right for adjudication of a dispute is entitled to know at least the official designation of the person giving the decision against him.

Conclusion

Administrative Law must allow institutional process to meld all of the skills, experience and values in order to take full advantage of the administrative process but in must create order and awareness within the institutional making process.

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