Administrative Justice

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Administrative Justice


the special procedure for settling disputes in the area of administrative law. Under this system, courts or other governmental agencies hear complaints on the actions of agencies of governmental administration and adopt decisions that are binding on these agencies. In some capitalist countries, the functions of administrative justice are exercised either by general courts (the USA, Great Britain, and others) or by special administrative courts (France, Switzerland, the Federal Republic of Germany, and others). France, for instance, has a system of administrative courts called administrative tribunals. The supreme body of administrative justice is the French Council of State, headed by the minister of justice. The administrative tribunals consider cases dealing with administrative agencies exceeding their jurisdictions or violating the forms of activity established for them, public officials transgressing their authority, and also the complaints of officials concerning their job transfers, dismissals, and so forth.

Proponents of the bourgeois theory of administrative justice proclaim that the formal independence of the institutions of administrative justice from administrative agencies is the most important guarantee of the rights and interests of citizens. They especially emphasize the “objectivity” of decisions in administrative cases and the protection of legality with the help of administrative justice. However, since the objectivity and independence of the bourgeois agencies of administrative justice are only a legal fiction, the agencies of administrative justice in the final analysis always defend the class interests of the ruling class, just like all other institutions of the bourgeois state.

In socialist countries, there is no separate system of special institutions of administrative justice, but some of the most expedient institutions and forms of administrative justice, having acquired new class content and different purposes and tasks, are successfully being adapted to the conditions of the socialist state. Thus many cases involving complaints against administrative agencies are heard by people’s courts, which, following procedures established by law, are obligated to consider cases arising out of administrative-legal relations. For instance, the USSR people’s courts hear complaints against the illegal imposition of administrative fines, against unlawful actions of notary offices, against certain decisions of the executive committees of local soviets, and against the actions of other administrative agencies. Poland, in addition to the courts which consider complaints against certain administrative acts, has special social security courts which are intended to consider complaints against the actions of administrative agencies connected with the administration of social security.

The adoption in the USSR of the Fundamentals of Legislation on the Court Organization of the USSR and the Union and Autonomous Republics (1958), the Fundamentals of Criminal Procedure of the USSR and the Union Republics (1958), the Fundamentals of Civil Procedure of the USSR and the Union Republics (1961), the new Union republic codes based on the aforementioned principles, has greatly broadened the jurisdiction of the people’s courts over cases arising from administrative-legal relations. The codes of civil procedure of the Union republics include special chapters on the proper procedure for handling these cases. The implementation of judicial supervision over the work of administrative agencies is one of the most important guarantees of the legal rights of Soviet citizens and one of the means of further strengthening socialist legality.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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