Administrative law can be defined simply as the body of set down laws and rules that works to regulate the government’s decision making and also to govern the activities of the government and such can include formulating and implementation of rules and policies. The administrative procedure act is put in place to mainly help in regulating the powers granted to administrative agencies, the decisions made by the agencies and the legal relationship that exists among these agencies. The administrative procedure act is considered by law practitioners as a branch of public law that deals with the governing of the laws of the general public or factors affecting the public (Hall, 2009).
According to Commerce Clearing House and Food and Drug Law Institute (1991) these agencies are created as an independent branch of the government and mandated to make decisions and also take action where necessary. The act restricts them and their operations. The agencies are required to act within the constitutional framework and boundaries. In the United States, these agencies are given power by the congress to act as representatives of the executive and their main objective is protecting public interest.
These agencies are set up by the central government with the purpose of encouraging quality decisions are made and also to build the public confidence in the government’s administration. Examples include the Association of Administrative Law Judges and National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary. Some of the activities done by the agencies include rulemaking, adjudication and implementation of a regulatory agenda (Hall, 2009).
The administrative adjudication process is basically the process through which an administrative agency follows when issuing orders. These orders issued can be affirmative, injunctive or negative. The process of adjudication relies mainly on the past actions of a given party and its results, based on these actions can be either for or against that party. The adjudication process is governed by the laws of administrative procedure and the administrative proceedings are not necessarily required to include all the judicial proceedings as seen in courts. When it comes to adjudication process it is the mandate of the administrative agency to decide on the rights and liabilities of the involved persons to an administrative proceeding and in addition use the appropriate laws and policies for adjudicating cases.
When it comes to agency adjudication, the right to counsel is not mandatory as the failure to be represented by counsel will not affect the decision to be made by the agency. But it is required that the involved parties are advised and represented by counsel at their own expense. Another aspect of adjudication that is different from normal court adjudications is that the number of witnesses is restricted and evidence that is presented before the agency has to be relevant and not unduly repetitious.