Administrative Law (Busby)

Course Number
LAW 3530
Course Description

Administrative law is about the struggle to achieve a balance between the competing interests that shape the design and implementation of public programs.  While the state must, in the public interest, deliver programs effectively, efficiently and consistently with principles of good government, it must also respect the core values of the rule of law – government that is subject to law and that respects claims of individual dignity and basic liberties, including those reflected in international human rights law.  In this class, we will explore how courts enforce the principles of procedural fairness by ensuring that parties affected by administrative decisions are heard by unbiased decision makers.  We will examine how courts review the substance of administrative decisions.

Teaching Method

The course will be taught in modules and most modules will be completed in one week. In addition to completing the assigned readings and listening to two (usually) 20 minute lectures which will be posted on UMLearn, students be given a range of options to apply insights gained from the readings and lectures. Such options include 1) writing formative (not summative) mini-quizzes which they will be able to self or peer evaluate; 2) completing short legal research projects; 3) working on short problems in small groups 4) participating in online discussion forums; and 4) participating in problem solving workshops with me (which will be scheduled during the assigned class hours


Method of evaluation: students will be evaluated by a short research memo, a short critical essay and an examination during the final examination. Students may work in pairs on the memo and essay but not on the exam.

Course Materials

Van Harten, Heckman, Mullan & Promislow, Administrative Law – Cases, Text & Materials, 7th ed. (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2015), Supplement (online), cases and materials posted on course page.