Instructor(s): Richard Stacey

Administrative law is the set of principles and rules that defines the government’s powers to tell people what to do. It is the most practical application of our commitment to the rule of law – the idea that government and administrative officials cannot exercise power that is not grounded in law. At the same time, administrative officials frequently exercise discretion in their attempts to realise statutory and policy objectives, in ways that the black letter of the statute may not anticipate. This tension between predictable application of the law and official conduct aimed advancing fundamental principles and values is a long-standing dilemma in legal thinking about the rule of law, which administrative law tries to navigate. Administrative law is thus both a limit and a guide to government conduct, constraining the exercise of public power to ensure it is consistent with constitutional rights and values while holding government accountable to the objectives encoded in legislation. Administrative law is the live edge of our constitutional and common-law commitments to liberty, equality, dignity and Indigenous rights. 

This course is an introduction to administrative law in Canada, covering four main themes: lawfulness, merits review, procedural fairness, and the evolving public-law relationship between the Crown and Indigenous communities. We consider under each theme how administrative law upholds both the rule of law and constitutional principles.  

This course will be evaluated through a mandatory final exam, and an optional assignment. There is no obligation to complete the assignment and if you choose not to, the final exam will be worth 100% of your grade for the course. If you do choose to complete the optional assignment, it will be worth 30% of your final grade and the exam will be worth 70%. Further, the assignment grading will operate on the ’no down-side’ rule: that is, if the combination of your assignment mark and your exam mark would lower your final grade, I will award the higher grade based only on your exam. On the other hand, if your assignment grade in combination with your exam mark raises your final grade, I will include it in the calculation. I will offer 4 separate assignment questions covering different areas of the course material. There will be two due dates: two of the assignments will be due on the first due date and two on the second due date. After each due date, I will take some time in class to discuss the questions. I will only grade one submission per student, but I am happy to meet with students to discuss answers to all of the questions. There is no class participation component to the final grade. Students must irrevocably choose their grading option by November 1st by notifying the Records Office.
Academic year
2023 - 2024

At a Glance

First Term



67 JD


T: 2:10 - 4:00 pm
Th: 2:10 - 4:00 pm