Dalhousie Law Journal


Administrative law, sophistication, complexity


Canadian lawyers make far too little use of the rich body of administrative law which has been developed in the United States. To some extent this is because the very sophistication and complexity of that law makes occasional unorganized forays and serendipitous research intimidating and, all too often, frustrating ventures. The purpose of this review is to introduce the Canadian reader to the latest volume of the leading treatise and to a new one volume textbook. Each, in its own way, may serve as an invaluable guide and introduction to American administrative law. Before going any further it would be well to consider why a working knowledge of American administrative law will be of value to a Canadian lawyer. After all, we have a different system of government and do not "judicialize" all our social, economic and political problems to anything like the same extent. Law and the courts have never played the dominant role here as in the United States. For us the emphasis is on parliamentary sovereignty and ministerial responsibility, not on limited powers and judicial review. How relevant are American solutions to our problems?