Irish Courts' Approach to Discretionary Administrative Powers Analytical Essay by nikki77

Irish Courts' Approach to Discretionary Administrative Powers
An administrative law paper examining whether or not the Irish courts' approach to judicially reviewing discretionary administrative powers has been overly deferential to decision-makers.
# 149067 | 2,386 words | 25 sources | MLA | 2011 | IE
Published on Nov 22, 2011 in Law (International) , Law (Administrative)

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This paper examines the manner in which limitations to discretionary powers have been applied by the Irish courts, specifically, whether or not they have been too slow to step in where administrative bodies overstep the boundaries. This analysis addresses the three principles governing the control of discretionary powers; the requirement that discretion not be exercised improperly, the "reasonableness" requirement, and the balancing of fundamental rights.

Improper Exercise of Discretion
Fundamental Rights and Proportionality

From the Paper:

""Bad faith" as a ground of review is slightly problematic in so far as there is a "lack of uniformity in what is perceived to constitute 'bad faith' for this purpose." Indeed its existence as a separate ground of review has been questioned by Craig for this very reason. Nevertheless it has been accepted as a ground of review of its own right by the Irish courts in a small number of cases. In State (O'Mahoney) v. South Cork Board of Health the High Court, though not explicitly recognising the term "bad faith", nevertheless found that the Board's rejection of the applicant's application under a purchase scheme had been based on ill-feeling rather than the "grave reason" required. Generally speaking, though, there is hesitancy on the part of the Irish judiciary to review the acts of an administrative body on this ground, Henchy J going so far as to say that administrative jurisdictions "which do not disclose invalidity on their face, enjoy a presumption of having been made within jurisdiction." It is not wholly surprising, given the rather vague concept of "bad faith" that there would be a heavy burden on an applicant attempting to prove that an administrative body acted mala fides."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brady, Alan D. P., "Proportionality, deference and fundamental rights in Irish administrative law: the aftermath of Meadows" (2010) 17(1) DULJ 136
  • Bradley, C., Judicial Review (Round Hall, 2000)
  • Craig, P. P., Administrative Law( 5th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 2003)
  • Delany, H., Judicial Review of Administrative Action (2nd ed., Roundhall, 2009)
  • Woolf, Jowell and Le Sueur, De Smith's Judicial Review (6th ed., Open University Press, 2007)

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Irish Courts' Approach to Discretionary Administrative Powers (2011, November 22) Retrieved August 15, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Irish Courts' Approach to Discretionary Administrative Powers" 22 November 2011. Web. 15 August. 2022. <>