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Administrative Law Syllabus Analysis

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

This post will give detail of books and its content to read in detail for all subject of UPSC law optional Syllabus of administrative law only. For how to study law optional or start preparation of Law optional in general, You should Refer this blog (Link)

The post have been reviewed by Aditya Tiwari sir who teaches law optional at Lukmaan IAS, Delhi. The post consist his recommendation regarding as dictated by him during lecture.


Topic 1: Principle of Natural Justice—Emerging trends and judicial approach. 

Natural justice is a common law doctrine that provides important procedural rights in administrative decision-making. The doctrine now has a wide application and is presumed by the courts to apply to the exercise of virtually all statutory powers

Read what do you mean by terms "Administrative decision-making’ or ‘administrative adjudication’ in Detail and how it is a by-product of an intensive form of government, and What are its need.

Read individual principle of natural Justice in Detail along with case law related to it. Focus interlinking the above topic with other topic such as administrative discretion and how courts have applies natural justice principle to control administrative discretion.


Topic 2: Delegated legislation and its constitutionality. 

It is a typical and major topic of administrative law in law Optional syllabus. At least one question is minimum asked each year from the topic.

The vast complexities of social and economic conditions of the modern age, and the ever growing amount of complicated legislation that is called for by the progressive social necessities, have made it practically impossible for the legislature to provide rules of law which are complete in all their details. Delegation of some sort, therefore, has become indispensable for making the law more effective and adaptable to the varying needs of society.

Study Various factors leading to the growth of administrative rule-making point wise Factors to write in exam

Study Types of Delegated Legislation and method of its control. Also read case laws related to the method of control

Most important sub topic is the CONSTITUTIONALITY OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION and how courts through various case laws have placed LIMITATIONS UPON DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER Most Famous is In re Delhi Case.


Topic 3: Separation of powers and constitutional governance. 

Read the meaning of the doctrine in detail, The doctrine of separation of powers emphasises the mutual exclusiveness of the three organs of the government i.e. legislature, executive and judiciary. read jurist definition and utility of the doctrine in detail.

Also connect this doctrine with constitutional provisions of India. You should know what provision in the constitution gives effect to this doctrine and what provision dilutes this doctrine. It will be very helpful in examination writing of law optional paper in UPSC Mains.

Constitutional Governance Sub Topic needs to be Studied with connection with the topic. It should not be read in aspect of public administration but with respect to separation of power. Like how it affects the separation of power doctrine. Wether it supplements the above doctrine or it dilutes it.


Topic 4: - Judicial review of administrative action. 

In Oxford Dictionary of law, administrative powers have been defined as “the discretionary powers of an executive nature that are conferred by the legislature on government, ministers, public and local authorities and other bodies and persons for the purpose of giving detailed effect to the policy intended by the legislature itself.”

Mainly the question is asked in law optional paper is related to Judicial Scrutiny of Administrative Action. The courts still play a marginal role in the control of exercise of discretionary power. It has been held that when a statute confers a discretionary power to be exercised by competent authority, the court cannot direct the competent authority to exercise discretion in a particular manner. Read case laws related to it.

There have been question on Judicial control mechanism of administrative action which is exercised at two stages: One at the stage of delegation of discretion, another at the stage of exercise of discretion or administrative action. Read case laws for both the stages.

And the last sub topic is JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION and its different Sup Topics. Like wether writs can be issued? or what type of writ will be issued in a particular circumstances. There have been direct question where an administrative action is given and you area asked which writ would apply and why.


Topic 5: - Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc. 

It is a very generic topic and depending on last year topic read the detail about ombudsman as RBI website and Lokyutka and lokpal basic meaning and read FAQ from RBI Website.

Lokpal and its basic feature and along with Lokayukta. How they are appointed and procedure of removal etc. Recently Supreme Court instructed UOI to form search committee for selecting candidate for appointment for lokpal.


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