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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2021 - 2022

Module Title Administrative Law
Module Code LG229
School School of Law & Government

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module familiarises students with the sources and principles of administrative law. This module discusses the legal and political mechanisms that control the behaviour of public bodies and administrative discretion. A significant proportion of the module is concerned with judicial review. The module discusses the grounds of judicial review including ultra vires, errors of law, errors of fact, fair procedures and the control of discretionary powers including an analysis of the principle of reasonableness and the role of proportionality. The module considers alternative legal mechanisms to regulate the behaviour of public bodies and the State, such as tribunals, inquiries, Ombudsman and Freedom of Information

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the legal theory and principles that underpin the purpose and scope of administrative law in Ireland.
2. Summarise the principles underlying judicial review of administrative action.
3. Identify the grounds for judicial review & apply these grounds to hypothetical problems with reference to relevant case-law, legislation and policy.
4. Discuss the discretionary nature of judicial review remedies available to the High Court.
5. Evaluate alternative legal mechanisms for holding administrative power to account.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Independent Study42Background Reading
Independent Study61Exam preparation
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

We consider the origins, scope and purpose of administrative law.

Sources of Administrative Law
We discuss the concepts of the rule of law and the separation of powers under the Constitution. We consider the sources of administrative law including the Constitution, common law, primary legislation, delegated legislation and administrative circulars. We will reacquaint ourselves with the rules of statutory interpretation.

Grounds for Judicial Review
We examine bias, breach of fair procedures, breach of legitimate expectation, unlawful delegation, error of fact, error of law, lack of proportionality, fettering of the decision making function, abuse of public power, breach of fundamental rights and reasonableness.

Judicial Review Remedies
We define the judicial review remedies of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, declaration, injunction and damages. We consider the discretionary nature of these remedies where the High Court may refuse to grant relief because of an applicant's conduct, failure to exhaust alternative remedies, and, delay.

Judicial Review Procedure
We discuss the application for leave, post-leave procedure, interlocutory applications and the hearing of judicial review applications.

Alternative Legal Mechanisms in Administrative Law
We consider the role of tribunals, public inquiries and licensing as mechanisms of public administration. We discuss the role of the Ombudsman in securing redress for individuals who have suffered harm or loss due to maladministration and championing good administrative practice.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Hogan, G, Morgan, D and Daly, P: 2020, Administrative Law in Ireland, 5th, Roundhall, Dublin,
  • Morgan, G and Daly, P: 2014, Hogan and Morgan's Administrative Law in Ireland: Student Edition, 4th, Roundhall, Dublin,
  • Donson, F and O'Donovan, D: 2015, Law and Public Administration in Ireland, 1st, Clarus Press,
  • Coffey, G: 2010, Administrative Law, 2nd, Thomson Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Carolan, E: 2009, The New Separation of Powers, Oxford University Press,
  • de Blacam, M: 2017, Judicial Review, 3rd, Bloomsbury, Dublin,
  • Delany, H and McGrath, D: 2012, Civil Procedure in the Superior Courts, 3rd, Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Endicott, T: 2015, Administrative Law, 3rd, Oxford University Press,
  • Law Reform Commission: 2004, Report on judicial review procedure, Dublin: Law Reform Commission,
  • Delany, H: 2009, Judicial Review of Administrative Action: A Comparative Analysis, Roundhall, Dublin,
  • Schmidt, P: 2005, Lawyers and regulation: the politics of the administrative process, Cambridge UP,
  • Adler, M (Editor): 2010, Administrative Justice in Context, Oxford,
  • Daly, P: 2012, A Theory of Deference in Administrative Law: Foundations, Application and Scope, Cambridge University Press,
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