In this course, general administrative law is studied, i.e. the general principles and rules that govern the powers and the functioning of the administration (the executive power) and more precisely the relationship between citizens and the administration, the relationship between various parts of the administration and the supervision of administrations. Specific branches of administrative law (urban planning law and environmental law, immigration or asylum law, the law on public procurement,…) are not systematically analysed, but appear in diverse examples and cases.
After a description, in part I, of the concept, the features and the sources of administrative law, part II deals with the instruments for decision making that the government can apply. Particular attention goes to the specific power of the administration to take binding, unilateral administrative decisions. A subsequent part is dedicated to the ‘people and means’ of the administration: the specific legal position of civil servants, the goods of the administration and the law that governs public finances.
What does administrative organization look like? This question is answered in part IV, via concepts such as centralization, decentralization, autonomous government, administrative oversight… The concept of ‘the administration’ as a legal concept is also discussed, with special attention for the notion of ‘administratieve overheid’.
Preemptive legal protection against the administration and administrative procedure are important topics of administrative law (part V). Here, the principles and guarantees that govern the relationship between the administration and citizens are discussed, such as the principles of proper administration, the duty to give reasons, the principle of transparency etc. These principles are further explained by sketching the different phases that an administrative act passes through, from draft to execution.
Finally, the remedial protection against the administration is studied (part VI). If the government does not abide by the rules, which forms of (administrative or judicial) legal protection are offered to citizens?