Agenda 18 januari 2018 - Tilburg

Conference Judicial Review in the Administrative State

The Tilburg Law School is hosting an international multi disciplinary conference on ‘judicial review of administrative decision making in the administrative state’. This conference has been funded by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. The conference is organised by prof. dr. E.M.H. Hirsch Ballin (distinguished professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Tilburg Law School and former Minister of Justice in the Netherlands), prof. dr. J.C.A. de Poorter (professor of Administrative Law at Tilburg Law School) and prof. dr. S.A.C.M. Lavrijssen (professor of Economic Regulation and Market Governance). This two-day conference will be held at 18th and 19th January 2018.

The constitutional design of administrative law has traditionally been strongly related with the concept of the trias politica in which the executive power is somehow considered to be a form of execution of what has been decided by the legislator supplemented by a permanent political control and a political accountability to a democratically elected body. In this presumed mechanism of political control and accountability the executive branch finds its legitimacy.

This constitutional design also affects the way we use to perceive the interrelationship between the executive branch and the judiciary. The role of the administrative courts is primarily thought from the principle of separation of powers. The courts are supposed to review administrative decisions involving discretion in a restraint way, e.g. applying the standard of unreasonableness or of a manifest error. The rational underpinning of this restraint judicial review is found in the presumed democratic legitimacy of the administrative decision-making process.

The question arises though to what extent this traditional constitutional framework corresponds with the actual relationship between the different actors in what is called ‘the administrative state’.

The conference aims to question traditional assumptions on the judicial review of discretion in the light of the changes in the constitutional framework and new forms of administrative governance and decision-making in the administrative state.  It will be debated whether other models of review are more appropriate considering the changing political and legal landscape in which national (independent) administrative authorities and courts operate. Different perspectives are elaborated to assess the role of the courts and the developments in different EU Member States, the EU and the US across different sectors and across different areas of law.  

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