Administrative Functions of Implementation, Control of Administrative Decisions, and Protection of Rights
Br. J. Am. Leg. Studies 10(1) (2021), 1-25
28 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020 Last revised: 27 Mar 2021
Date Written: August 3, 2020
This essay includes a comparative analysis of the traditions of administrative law in Latin American and their impact on the contemporary scene and trends in the general orientations of its administrative justice systems. This analysis is limited to Latin American countries of Iberian origin under the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“I/A Court H.R”). The method followed by the author is to point out the roles attributable to the administrative authorities and to attempt to identify a distinction in Latin America between the “administrative function of implementation”, “control of the legality of administrative decisions” (unrelated to any adjudicative function) and the “protection of rights” (by means of an adjudicative function) while examining their historical genesis and possible future trends. From that perspective, the text discusses certain administrative powers, such as disciplinary or other regulatory powers, and their forms of concrete application; the prerogatives and instruments of the authorities and of their decision-making employees in the exercise of the functions of implementation; the control of administrative decisions by those authorities themselves and by external bodies; and judicial and extrajudicial protection of rights against administrative decisions. The author concludes that Latin American administrative law, despite the fact that its civil-law substantive roots have always coexisted with judicial review typical of common law, is currently tending, on the one hand, to approximate the U.S. model of administrative adjudication and, on the other, to adapt to I/A Court H.R case law with respect to the administrative function of implementation in harmony with the fundamental right to good administration which, combined with a critical re-examination of diffuse control of the legality of administrative rules in court, would safeguard the true role of adjudicating bodies (administrative authorities or courts) in their function of protecting individual rights for the sake of more fair and equitable administrative justice.
Keywords: Latin American; Comparative Law; Administrative Justice; Courts
JEL Classification: I18, K32, K33, K23, K41, I11, I28, H75, H51, N46
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation