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Administrative Law: Importance, Relevance & Scope

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Instructor: Reed Hepler

Reed Hepler received an M.L.I.S. from IUPUI, with emphases in Digital Curation and Archives Management. He received a Bachelor’s in History from USU, with minors in Religious Studies and Anthropology. He also earned a Certificate in Museum Studies. He has worked in museums, libraries, archives, and historical sites for the past four years.

Learn about administrative law and examine its importance. Explore the relevance of this type of law in criminal justice. Examine the scope of administrative law. Updated: 06/21/2023

Administrative Law

Administrative law is law related to the enforcement of laws by bureaucratic agencies. While judicial decisions and executive policies can affect the administration of bureaucratic agencies, the most foundational administrative law is created through the legislative process. As such, these administrative laws are referred to as statutory laws.

Administrative law has many important factors, including that it ensures that no bureaucratic agency oversteps its bounds. It also ensures that there is a bureaucratic agency to enforce each statutory law. Administrative law also establishes the relationships and responsibilities between bureaucratic agencies and the main branches of government.

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  • 0:05 Administrative Law
  • 0:48 Criminal Justice & the Law
  • 2:06 Scope of Administrative Law
  • 3:03 Lesson Summary
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Criminal Justice & the Law

At first glance, it may seem that administrative law has essentially no relationship with criminal justice. However, there is a firm connection between the two. Administrative law affects how criminal laws are administered. The criminal justice system is the process through which all individuals accused of criminal conduct are taken. The most prominent and well-known part of the criminal justice system, the court hearing, is conducted by the judicial branch of government. However, the majority of the parts of this system are carried out by bureaucratic agencies, including law enforcement agencies and corrections facilities.

Another connection between administrative law and criminal justice is found in administrative criminal laws. These are administrative laws that specify criminal punishments for certain infractions. When non-criminal administrative laws are transgressed against, the punishments given are fines, penalties, or rebukes.

An example of administrative law regulating the administration of the criminal justice system is the procedures which a police officer must go through as they arrest someone accused of committing a crime. Law enforcement officers are required to read those they are arresting their Miranda rights. This is an administrative law created by the judicial process in the case of Miranda v. Arizona.

Scope of Administrative Law

Administrative law applies to the bureaucracies in the entire state in which it is created. Often, individual states have their own bureaucratic agencies that mirror those on the federal level. Regulations and procedures on the state and federal levels are often contradictory, and this can cause tension between local and national agents.

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