The Nature of the Lawyers Role in the Administrative Process

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Administrative Process, Traditional Lawyer Values, Lawyer's Role, Decision-Makers


The nature of the administrative process has been changing over the last twenty years in ways with which we are all familiar, as a result of the political demand for active interventionist government in a complex society. Naturally enough significant changes also appear to be taking place in the lawyer's role in that process. Traditional lawyers' values, that is the philosophical or political reference points of lawyers and judges, hitherto have dictated an essentially court-oriented role for lawyers in the administrative process. There is no indication of a change in lawyers' role values but in the pursuit of those values the lawyer's role may be different because of changes in the way lawyers are educated to deal with the administrative process and because of changes in the types of clients with which they are concerned. More lawyers will be more deeply involved in the administrative process, and they will, and should be, increasingly concerned with low profile "administrative" decision makers, rather than just with the major regulatory tribunals, which act very much like courts.


Lecture that was published as a collection by the Law Society of Upper Canada.