Author : Sushant Rochlani
“Administrative law and judicial review of administrative action” is a very important subject in modern times. According to Wade, administrative law is the law relating to the control of powers of the executive authorities. To consider why such a law became necessary, we have to consider its historical background. Up to the 19th century the functions of the State in England were confined to (i) defense of the country from foreign invasion, and (ii) maintenance of law and order within the country.
Feudal, agricultural society was relatively simple and social relations were uncomplicated. There were few laws, mainly customary (not statutory). But with the advent of industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, society became complex. Concentration of people in urban areas called for new regulatory State authorities for town planning, housing improvement, public health, education, factory management, street lighting, sewerage, drainage, sanitation, schemes for providing water, electricity, etc. Also the early 20th century laid the foundation for a Welfare State dealing with health insurance, unemployment allowance, sickness and old age benefits, free and compulsory education, etc.