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Administrative Law


1. Definition of administrative law

 Administrative law is public law, which deals with the relationship between the
government and the people residing in that jurisdiction. The other two areas of
public law are Constitutional and Criminal law.
 It is a branch of public law that deals with the actual operation of government
(administrative process) while the constitutional process has resulted in a duly
elected government which is controlled by the rules and policies set by the

2. Purpose of AL:
 To ensure that the activities of government are authorised;
 To ensure that bodies that carry out these duties do so in a manner that is fair
and reasonable manner.
 Concerned with ensuring the tribunals, government departments and all
authorities exercising public law functions act within the perimeter of their

 R v Shoreditch Assessment Committee

– No tribunal of inferior jurisdiction can by its own jurisdiction finally decide
on the question of the existence of such jurisdiction; such question is always
subject to review by the High Court
- Does not permit inferior tribunal to usurp jurisdiction which it does not
possess/ refuse to exercise jurisdiction which it has and ought to

 Sim Kooi Soon v Malaysian Airline System

– The jurisdiction of HC to issue certiorari is extraordinary original jurisdiction
of a supervisory character, to enable the superior courts to keep the inferior
tribunals within the bounds of their authority. (not appellate or revisional

3. Government administrative bodies include:

 Ministries – the highest bodies in federal administrative machinery
 Government Departments – the second highest agencies for implementing
government policies.
 Statutory Bodies – the setting up of such bodies are governed by laws, set up
with objective to carry out specific duties which would be in line with gov’s
objectives. (Bank Negara Msia, Inland Revenue Board, Human Rights
4. What are Public Bodies?
 DPP v Manners
– Held: Public body is a body which has public/statutory duties to perform and
performs those duties for the benefits of public only.

5. Difference between Public and Private Bodies

 Public body: obtains its powers from statute or subsidiary legislation made
under statue or from a non-statute source (eg. Prerogative)
 Private body: obtains its power from an agreement of those who are subject to
their jurisdiction. (not from a statute) (R v Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey

6. Bodies that enjoy power of decision making but do not derive power from any written
 For non-statutory bodies, particular considerations may be relevant:
i. The nature of function
ii. Any statutory recognition of the authority or function
iii. The extent it has been woven into a system of governmental control
**A public element suggests governmental or quasi-governmental
element, through extending to indirect governmental connection. **

 OSK & Partner Sdn Bhd v Tengku Nonee Aziz

o Issue: Whether the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange was subject to
judicial review
o Held: It was subject to judicial review whereby the exchange is a
hybrid corporation – a company incorporated under the Companies Act
but recognized and regulated by legislation and subject to its governance
and authority with therefore an element of public flavour superimposed
on the contractual element in relation to its members.
o It is statutorily regulated entity under overall direction and control of the
minister in fundamental respects, thus manifesting a distinctive public

7. Malaysian Government administrative system

 Three levels: Federal; State; District level (Local Gov)
 The Federal Constitution has given extensive provisions to the Federal
Government where national administration is concerned. The administrative
duties at the Federal level include all aspect of public services such as economy,
social, security and education.
 The state governments have powers over the administration of certain matters
within the state governments' jurisdiction. (proper administration of its state)
 To ensure the smooth implementation of the country's administration the
Malaysian Government has set up various agencies to carry out certain functions
to enable the government to attain its objectives.
8. The various government agencies are put in place for specified reasons, namely to plan,
control, assist and implement all the activities planned to attain all the national

9. Administrative law is based on the principle that all government actions or decisions:
 Must be legal and done in accordance to the rules of natural justice
 Those who have been affected by unlawful acts of government officials must
be given avenues to have these decisions reviewed
 the affected individuals should be given remedies, if they are found to be

10. The crust of administrative law

 To review the decisions made by administrative bodies of the government.
 To provide legal avenues for these decisions to be reviewed.