What is Administrative Law and Its Relationship with Constitutional Law

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Administrative law is a branch of public law. Public law is the aspect of law that governs the relationship between individuals and the government. Administrative law is a body of laws that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government.

Administrative agencies are bodies or organs of government that have been given the powers of rule-making, administrative adjudication, execution or implementation of public policies and enforcement of regulatory agendas. Administrative law is the branch of public law that is involved in the organization, powers, functions and procedures of administrative agencies, their inter-dependence and relationship with one another. It provides remedies for members of the public that have had their rights violated by these agencies or by unlawful administrative acts.

What are the Relationship with Constitutional Law

The relationship between Administrative law and the Constitutional law is not very watertight, sometimes administrative law invades into the territory of constitutional law. Both constitutional and administrative law are parts of the public law which shows that constitutional law is the “mother” of administrative law and it cannot be totally separated from each other. Administrative law deals with the organizations, powers, functions, and duties of administrative authorities.

Constitutional law deals with the general principles relating to the organization and powers of various organs of the state and the relationship of these organs with the individuals.

The constitution describes the various organs of the government at rest, while administrative law describes them in motion. It may also be pointed out that constitutional law deals with the rights of citizens while administrative law focuses on public needs.

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What is the Difference between Constitutional law and Administrative Law

  • Administrative law is limited in its scope of study to the exercise of power by the executive branch of government and administrative powers while constitutional law deals with the power and structure of government in general.
  • Administrative law does not provide rights, rather it provides principles and rules that safeguard fundamental rights while constitutional law formulates fundamental rights
  • Administrative law deals with the organs of government in motion while constitutional law deals with the organs of government in rest
  • Administrative law deals with the law relating to administrative powers while constitutional law deals with law relating to the constitution
  • Administrative law deals exclusively with administrative authorities and not international law while constitutional law gives guidelines about international relations
  • Administrative law deals with public authorities while constitutional law deals with both public and private authorities
  • Constitutional law is the supreme law of the land. It supersedes all other laws including administrative law. If there are discrepancies between administrative law and constitutional law, constitutional law will prevail.



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