What are the Theories of Admin Law and Functions of Admin

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What is  Red Light Theory?

CONTROL is synonymous with this theory. It is rooted in A.V Dicey’s constitutional analysis. It believes that the aim of administrative law should be to control state activities in order to protect the rights of individuals. It is concerned with the way the government exercises power and seeks to limit this power in order to prevent autocracy. It believes that the Judiciary should be autonomous and the center of the constitution since it is one of the primary instruments used to safeguard the rights of citizens. In Iwuji v Federal Commissioner of Establishment, it was stated that the court (judiciary) has the right to investigate the actions of members of administrative agencies to ensure they do not violate the rights of citizens.

What is Green Light Theory ?

REGULATION is synonymous with this theory. It considers that the function of administrative law is to facilitate the operation of the state. It believes that administrative law should aim to help simplify the procedures and enhance efficiency. The green light theory broadly supports the introduction of policies aimed at developing public service provisions. It regards law not as a controlling mechanism, rather as a facilitative tool. Consequently, it considers the court’s intervention as an obstacle to efficiency. It believes that the objective of administration law is to encourage good and efficient administrative practices and not merely to stop arbitrary administrative practices.

What is Amber Light?

This theory focuses mainly on ACCOUNTABILITY. This theory is somewhere in between the red and green light theory. It believes that there should be judicial and political checks on administrative practices, but at the same time such reviews should be balanced. It believes that there should be instruments in place to limit administrative power but should allow for such powers to enjoy a degree of discretionary authority. This theory seeks optimal balance among internal administrative controls and external political and judicial controls over the administrative processes. Whereas the green-light theory sees political institutions as adequate to control state power, the amber-light theory sees a need to develop administrative law principles and procedures to supplement the democratic, political controls over those who exercise state power.

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What are the Functions of Admin Law

  1. It regulates the relation between the organized powers and the citizens
  2. It studies the statutory bodies which translates the public policy of the government
  3. It governs the relationship between administrative authorities and the various arms of government
  4. It controls administrative authority
  5. It ensures transparency and openness in the administration’
  6. It enables government to perform its duties

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