Curriculum Guideline

Public Law

Effective Date:
Course Code
LGST 2220
Public Law
Legal Studies
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The following methods of instruction will be utilized:

  • Lectures
  • Class discussions
Course Description
This course examines important legal limitations that are imposed on those who exercise governmental power. Particular attention will be paid to the requirement that administrative decision making be procedurally fair, and that any exercise of administrative authority must be within the boundaries of the law. The course will also examine the mechanisms and remedies that are available where persons believe these requirements have not been met, with particular attention paid to the power of judicial review. To further illustrate administrative law principles in practice, the course will examine specific areas of law where administrative law principles play a central role, including human rights law and immigration law.
Course Content

1. Introduction and Overview

  • The scope of administrative law
  • The constitutional foundations of administrative law

2. Substantive Review of Administrative Action

  • Jurisdiction and Jurisdictional Error
  • Discretionary Power and Abuse of Discretion

3. Procedural Fairness in Administrative Action

  • The legal basis for the requirement of procedural fairness
  • Common Law
  • Charter of Rights
  • Audi Alteram Partem
  • Bias and Lack of Independence
  • The elements of procedural fairness

4. Forms of Review of Administrative Action

  • Statutory Appeals
  • Judicial Review
  • Role of the Ombudsman
  • Limits on Review

5. Administrative Law in Practice

  • Human Rights Law
  • Immigration Law
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of administrative law in relation to the exercise of governmental authority.
  2. Describe the constitutional foundations of administrative law.
  3. Identify and describe the legal sources of the requirement for procedural fairness in governmental decision making.
  4. Describe the general requirements of procedural fairness, and explain the differing standards of procedural fairness in different decision-making contexts.
  5. Explain the importance of jurisdiction in administrative law.
  6. Describe the role of privative clauses, the concept of patent unreasonableness, and the relationship between them.
  7. Identify and describe the different forms of review of administrative action.
  8. Describe and explain the tension that exists between legislatures and courts in the context of judicial review of administrative action.
  9. Identify and describe the remedies available in administrative law and the circumstances in which remedies may be refused.
  10. Identify and describe discrete areas of substantive law where administrative law principles play a central role, including immigration law, human rights law, labour and employment law, and social welfare law.
  11. Read statute and case law critically and with good comprehension.
  12. Apply administrative law principles to real and hypothetical situations involving conflict over administrative action.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based upon the course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policies. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the course. Evaluation will be based upon the following:

  • Exams
  • Research paper or other written assignment
  • Class attendance and participation


An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:



Class attendance and participation     10%
Midterm exam  30%
Research paper  30%
Final exam  30%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Mullan, David J.  Administrative Law,  Toronto:  Irwin Law. Current Edition.


The text will be supplemented by legislation and more recent case law which are available online.