Instructor(s): Richard Stacey

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7003HS.

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Quercus as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

Administrative law is the set of principles and rules that define the governments powers to tell us, the people, what to do. It is at once the most practical application of our commitments to the ideal of the rule of law, and the live edge of our constitutional commitments to liberty, dignity and equality.

It is important to distinguish between administration what public agents do when they exercise the power they have over society and administrative law, meaning the controls on how that power is exercised. The study of administrative law is often the study of pathologies of administration: that is, what the law does to correct the misuse of public power. The illusion of administrative law is that when it works effectively to ensure that the exercise of public power is consistent with societys most basic values, we do not see it at work. It is only when public officials stray beyond their lawful powers or act incongruently with basic values that the operation of administrative law, through courts of judicial review, becomes obvious.

This course provides an overview of administrative law in Canada, examining numerous examples of the misuse of power to highlight how courts apply the principles and rules of administrative law to correct those misuses of power and guide the administration of justice into compliance with the Constitution and commitments to the rule of law. The course covers four main themes of administrative law: lawfulness, substantive review, procedural fairness, and the evolving understanding of how administrative law is shaping the relationship between the Crown and indigenous communities.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court instructed counsel preparing three cases to be heard together to make arguments for changes to a fundamental element of Canadian administrative law: the standard of review. At the same time, challenges to pipelines and other development projects on the basis that the Crown failed to adequately consult Indigenous peoples are ongoing. Materials relating to these cases will be integrated into the course as they become available.

There will be a 90% final 3 hour, open book exam. The remaining 10% will be assessed through class participation, based on answers to focused questions about the course materials.

At a Glance

Second Term


66 JD


T: 4:10 - 6:00
Th: 4:10 - 6:00