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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Current Issues in Administrative Justice (LAWS10193)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide you with an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of administrative justice, so as to build on the treatment of this subject at ordinary level PLAIR and PLUS.

The central aim of the course is to identify the various mechanisms that can ensure that government and public authorities remain accountable for their decisions and actions. To this end, you will examine the scope and functioning of administrative justice within its constitutional context; the judicial control of administrative action; the fundamental role in administrative adjudication conducted by tribunals and ombudsmen techniques; the law regulating the access to government-held information and the impact of EU law and human rights on administrative justice.
The main emphasis will be on the law of Scotland, but English law and EU law will also be considered for comparative purposes, and occasionally other systems.
Course description Administrative Law is a subject of growing importance to practitioners, so the course will have practical utility, but it will also involve consideration of more theoretical issues.
The outline content of the course is as follows:

1. An Introduction to Administrative Justice
2. Who Gets in, and Why? Standing and the Purpose of Judicial Review
3. Tribunals and Administrative Justice
4. Ouster Clauses: The Rationing and Exclusion of Review
5. Ombudsmen and Administrative Justice
6. The Interception of Communications
7. Administrative Justice, EU Law, and Human Rights
8. Freedom of Information
9. Judicial Review and National Security
10. Presentations and Discussions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Public Law of the UK and Scotland (LAWS08123) AND Public Law and Individual Rights (LAWS08132)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework consisting of an essay (70%), class participation (20%) and a presentation to the class (10%)

Feedback Students will have the opportunity to complete a piece of formative assessment early in the course, on which they will receive feedback. Feedback will also be provided on the written reports and presentation.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Knowledge and Sources of Law: - An advanced knowledge and understanding of administrative law and judicial review; - An ability to critically analyse key administrative law and judicial review rules and case law, and reflect on their implications and possible avenues for legal development; - An ability to engage with contemporary debates in the field of administrative law and judicial review.
  2. 2. Subject-specific Skills: -To enhance students¿ ability to learn independently (via the requirement to prepare in advance of the class by doing the required readings in seminar handouts); -To enhance students¿ ability to locate, interpret and synthesise relevant materials from both primary and secondary sources (via the required and other readings in seminar handouts); -To enhance students¿ ability to reflect critically on complex legal and institutional questions and to develop a problem-solving approach (via group class exercises and unseen examination); and -To enhance students¿ ability to develop a legal argument in a succinct and persuasive manner (via active class participation and unseen examination).
  3. 3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills: - An ability to apply knowledge of the law to complex questions; - Evaluative and critical reasoning; - Creative thinking; - An ability to articulate, sustain and defend a line of argument, clearly and concisely, in both written and oral form; - An ability to consider arguments for and against a proposition in a balanced manner; and - An ability to locate and use electronic and other resources at an advanced level.
  4. Key Personal Skills: - Advanced written and oral communication; - An appreciation of different dynamics within a class group and respect for the opinions of other people even if there is disagreement.
  5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values: - Ability to exercise independent judgement and operate in relative autonomy for the purpose of seminar and exam preparation; - Ability to work as part of a group for the purpose of class exercises and discussions.
Reading List
There is no prescribed textbook for this course. Students will be required to access and read a range of primary and secondary sources. Primary sources comprise legislation and case law, and secondary sources include books, articles, government reports etc.

General Textbooks:

Craig, P. (2012), Administrative Law, Sweet and Maxwell

Bradley, A. and Ewing, K. (2014), Constitutional and Administrative Law, Pearson

Elliott, M., Beatson J. and Matthews, M. (2011), Administrative Law Text and Materials

Wade, H.W.R., and Forsyth, C.F. (2015), Administrative Law, OUP

Woolf, R.H.L.H., Jowell, J. and Le Sueur, A. (2013), Judicial Review, Sweet and Maxwell

Supperstone, M. and Goudie, J. (2010), Judicial Review, LexisNexis (Including chapter 21 on Scotland)

Blair, S. (1999), Scots Administrative Law, W. Green

McHarg, A. and Mullen, T. (2006), Public law in Scotland, Avizandum

Himsworth, C. and O¿Neill, C. (2015), Scotland¿s Constitution: Law and Practice, Bloomsbury Professional available as an online resource at (EASY login required)

Munro, J. (2007), Public Law, Thomson/W.Green
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
- Produce written work of high quality based on research that is undertaken independently. This is intended to enhance your personal and intellectual autonomy and your critical analysis skills.
- Present complex legal arguments in a concise and clear manner.
- Communicate your ideas briefly and with precision.
- Engage in a thoughtful and well-reasoned debate.
- Apply abstract theoretical concepts in a more practical context.
KeywordsAdministrative Law,Administrative Justice,Judicial Review,Tribunals,Ombudsmen,Human Rights
Course organiserDr Elisenda Casanas Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 9815
Course secretaryMiss Susie Morgan
Tel: (0131 6)50 2339
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