Book Reviews

Administrative Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Authors: William Wade & Christopher Forsyth

Price: 39.99

Edition: 11th Edition (July 2014)

ISBN: 978-0-19-968370-3

Buy from OUP: Click Here

It has been over fifty years since the first edition of Administrative Law was written.  Now in its eleventh edition, Administrative Law has been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest case-law (including decisions from the Supreme Court), the latest legislative changes (including the Equality Act 2010, the Localism Act 2011 and the Financial Services Act 2012 (which introduced wholesale change to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000)) and the Ministry of Justice's proposed changes to judicial review (which are still subject to consideration by Parliament).  These changes have been seamlessly incorporated meaning Administrative Law remains one of the leading texts, if not the leading text, on administrative law for students and practitioners.

Administrative Law is split into eight parts: introduction; authorities and functions; European influences; powers and jurisdiction; discretionary power; natural justice; remedies and liability; and administrative legislation and adjudication.  Each part (excluding the third) includes a number of chapters.  For example, the chapter on powers and jurisdiction has chapters on: legal nature of powers; jurisdiction over fact and law; and problems of invalidity.  The part on natural justice has chapters on: nature justice and legal justice; the rule against bias; and the right to a fair hearing.  The part on remedies and liabilities includes chapters on: ordinary remedies; boundaries of judicial review; and Crown proceedings.

There is no question that Administrative Law is a heavyweight text for the serious student or practitioner.  It provides comprehensive coverage on all the relevant and key topics affecting administrative law.  It does, however, consider some of the more niche aspects of administrative law.  For example, it (importantly) looks at whether decisions by regulators (including the Financial Conduct Authority), tribunals (like the General Medical Council or the Financial Ombudsman Service) or statutory bodies (like televisions companies) can be subject to judicial review.  There is also an appendix which includes the latest developments between submission of the manuscript and publication meaning the text is right up to date.

Like earlier editions, Administrative Law is a superbly written account of this complicated area of law.  It is both impressive and authoritative; no mean feat for a textbook on administrative law.  It is, however, over 830 pages and contains a lot of fairly dense text.  While this may (understandably) put off some people (particularly those new to administrative law), those who spend the time and effort reading the material (and, once you start reading it, you will quickly appreciate its lucid flow) will reap the rewards.  If you are struggling with a rather technical issue, it is likely you will find the answer in this impressive text.  It is one of those texts which, once you understand the basics of administrative law, will provide you will all the answers you need.

Reviewed on 11 January 2015

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