Administrative Law

Administrative law parted from general state law in the late 1800s, following the continental European model. Administrative law can be characterized as an area of law that covers public functions, activities, structures and legal safeguards in the public administration. Its principal parts are regulated by public law, but because of the many hybrid regulations the borderline between administrative law and private law is not always clear-cut. As a part of legal science, administrative law examines the above-mentioned areas of legal order.

General administrative law consists of legal principles, administrative organization, administrative procedure, administrative information law and administrative judicial procedure. General administrative law covers all administrative activities. In legal science, general administrative law has traditionally been the most important research area, but at present the emphasis is shifting to special areas of administration.

Administrative law is divided into special areas mainly in accordance with the division of administrative sectors. The most important area is municipal law, because municipalities are responsible for the majority of the public functions. The law of civil servants is also important. In addition, special administrative law includes social law, police law, medical law, and education law. Due to the trend of privatization, the principles and regulations of private law are notable in all these sectors.

European administrative law is the most important part of international administrative law. In a broad sense, European administrative law covers the norms of the European Council and the legal order of the European Union. The latter regulates the administrative activities and procedures at the Union level, on the one hand, and in the Member States, on the other hand. A strict distinction between these areas cannot be made as the legal principles extend to both strands.