This legal control, together with a few special features of the politicalcontrol, provides the subject matter of administrative law. The problemthroughout is how to keep a powerful government within legal bounds,and how at the same time to help it work efficiently.”
The easiest, though perhaps the least satisfactory of the possible definitions isto be found by appropriating one of the three features of the traditional separationof powers. If the powers and authorities are classified, in a state, as legislative,administrative and judicial, then administrative law might be said to be the lawthat concerns administrative authorities as opposed to the others.The main question that administrative law attempts to answer is how executivepower can be controlled by law and also, so to speak colonized by legalprinciples of fair and proper procedure.
CONSTITUTIONAL - SUPREMACY (THE COURTS)
In Zambia, administrative justice is achieved, mainly because of the constitutionalsupremacy enshrined in the law. For example, the constitution of Zambia Act,stipulates in Article 1(3) that:“This constitution is the Supreme Law of Zambia and if any other law isinconsistent with this constitution that other law shall, to the extent of theconsistence, be void”In Zambia, the main agents of administrative justice are the courts. The courtsare able to declare any act of a public authority or body ultra vires if it is seenthat the said body or authority acts outside its powers. In
Fred M’membe andBright Mwape v Attorney – General
where the applicants had been arrestedby Parliament for contempt of parliament, the High Court noted and held that
W.Y.P. Wade, Administrative Law, London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1989. P. 12