Reasons for the Growth of Administrative Law:
The following have been the main reasons for the growth of Administrative Law-
(1) Impact of Industrialization and Urbanization- Due to the impact of industrialization and urbanization, the philosophy of individualism which remained very popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, suffered a decline. The Industrial Revolution led to the concentration of production in the hands of a few capital owners. This resulted in a situation of helplessness and virtual starvation of the working masses. Under these circumstances, the state came forward to assume the role of a custodian committed to promoting the welfare of the exploited people. This could be possible only through appropriately regulating and restricting the latter’s rights. The people engaged in running the state administration also began getting facilities and rights which were conferred on the people working in the private administration. This resulted in the emergence of Administrative Law. Robson says, “The foremost characteristic of Administrative Law is that its subordinates the common law rights of personal freedom and private property to the conception of the social or common good”.
(2) Flexibility of Standards was the need of the Hour- The Administrative Law does not stand for the enforcement of individual rights. Instead, it stands for furthering the policies of social improvement. As such, it lays down certain flexible standards to be applied to cases instead of cut and dried legal rules to be followed. For example, Administrative Law may require that the railway rate structure should be reasonable, that the drainage system shall be reasonably adequate, that unfair practices shall be disallowed in certain types of trades. The reasonableness or unreasonableness, fairness or unfairness should be left to be determined by adjudication. This substitution of a general standard for clear-cut rules made Administrative Law more flexible than the traditional body of older law.
(3) Discretion to Public Officials found Helpful- Administrative Law allows the officials the right to use discretion and freedom for the efficient management of public services. Discretionary powers of the state officials always equip them with the requisite freedom of action without which the government is apt to fail in the fulfilment of its important functions- the welfare functions.
(4) Need for Suitable Standards to deal with Technical Matters- Matters of a highly technical nature necessitate the laying down of certain standards. The interpretation and applicability of these standards to individual cases are entrusted to administrative courts which are composed of suitable subject-matter experts.
(5) Experimental Stage- Regulatory standards suiting new and hitherto undiscovered fields were discovered by Administrative Law. Hence, it came to be recognized as an experimental and dynamic body of law. As Frankfurter and Davison say, “We are dealing with the law in the making….Administrative Law is growing; it necessarily is still crude and empirical. It is dealing with new problems calling for new social inventions or fresh adoption of old experiences. In a field as vast and unruly, we must be wary against premature generalization and merely formed systems”. The experimental capability of Administrative Law enables it to develop faster and in a big way.