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Administrative Law and Policy of the European Union$
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Herwig C.H. Hofmann, Gerard C. Rowe, and Alexander H. Türk

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286485.001.0001

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Rules and Principles Governing the Substance of Administrative Decision-Making

Rules and Principles Governing the Substance of Administrative Decision-Making

(p.491) 13 Rules and Principles Governing the Substance of Administrative Decision-Making
Administrative Law and Policy of the European Union

Herwig C.H. Hofmann

Gerard C. Rowe

Alexander H. TÜrk

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the rules and principles governing the substance of administrative decision-making, focusing on the scope of the administration's influence over the substance of decisions. In many instances, the European administration has been allocated a discretion or a margin of appreciation linked to its perceived expertise, or to its political role in the decision-making process. In other instances the relevant law, the application of which is entrusted to the administrative authorities, is more restrictive and determinative of the decision-making outcome. It is shown that such categories are far from absolute, and the boundaries between them not impermeable. Indeed, the scope for appreciation and the exercise of a discretion by the administration is rather to be seen as being on a sliding scale. That scope is relevant not only as regards the range of policy considerations which the administration can pursue or take into account, and its freedom of movement in doing so, but also for the degree to which the European courts are willing to engage with the substance of administrative action when supervising these in the context of judicial review.

Keywords:   European administrative law, public administration, administrative decision-making, administrative action

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