The Grammar of Administrative Justice Values

I have a new article in the JSFWL on the ‘Grammar of Administrative Justice Values’. It is available here. Here is the abstract of the article:

The debate concerning administrative justice in the UK often involves reliance upon a certain set of values. Examples of such values include openness, confidentiality, timeliness, transparency, secrecy, fairness, efficiency, accountability, user-friendliness, consistency, participation, rationality and equal treatment. These values are often deployed, both in academic and policy contexts, without much precision. This produces confusion which can hamper debate. This article therefore argues there is a need to reflect on how these oft-used values are deployed, and consider the particular concerns which underlie them. In this sense, this article suggests there is a need to refine the grammar of administrative justice. This argument is demonstrated through an extended analysis of the value of ‘user-friendliness’: a site of emerging disagreement in recent years. It proposes that an important distinction must be drawn between two understandings of the value: the ‘accessibility’ and ‘consumerist’ understandings. This article concludes by suggesting that, going forward, it is important to consider whether the use of abstractions is helpful at all in administrative law and justice debates.

 

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