Traditions and Change in European Administrative Law
In Europe, the traditional continental administrative model is mainly top-down and is based on the following assumptions: a) Political bodies strike a balance among the conflicting interests present in the society or, rather, among the conflicting social interests, choosing those that deserve to gain the upper hand. b) The administrative organization has the task to implement the choices made by the law maker in specific cases and it is normally responsible to it. To this end, it works through adjudication processes and adopts decisions. Normally, to make adjudication more predictable and easier, given its complex structure, the administrative organization is also empowered to enact secondary rules. Rules and administrative decisions derive their legal authority from the law they are implementing, overriding individual interests. c) The courts are empowered to check that the administrative organization does not overstep the boundaries laid down by the law. * A different dialogue model is possible. It is based on the following assumptions: a) It is up to the different social actors to negotiate and find mutually acceptable compromises between conflicting interests. b) The administrative organization acts as a facilitator or broker of decisions, which are, to a more or less large extent, taken by the social actors. c) The courts check that all concerned social actors are allowed to take part in the dialogue and are fairly treated. * The research presented in this book classifies the European legal system according to the models outlined above, to their possible combinations, and to their variables.
Publication Date: 5/30/2011