Michael Adler


This paper comprises a case study of the history of the Administrative justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) in the United Kingdom from its the establishment in 2007 to its likely demise five years later, in 20 12. It outlines a number of competing approaches to administrative justice and identifies some of the key milestones on the road to reforming the ways in which disputes between citizens and the state are handled in the UK. It traces the rise and fall of the AJTC and considers how arguments for the establishment of an 'oversight body' that seemed, until recently, to enjoy all-party support could, within a very short time, be insufficient to secure its continued existence. The paper attempts to assess the contribution of the AJTC to the achievement of administrative justice in the UK and considers the implications of its demise for this goal. Along the way, it briefly compares the role of the AJTC on a UK-wide basis with that of its Scottish Committee and assesses the importance of timing and scale in determining their respective futures. After a brief sideways look at administrative justice in India, it concludes by discussing the implications of strong parliamentary sovereignty and weak constitutional protection, which together characterise governance in the United Kingdom, for administrative justice in the United Kingdom.