REVIEWS

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1974.tb02396.x
Publication Date01 Jul 1974
REVIEWS
MALADMINISTRATION
AND
ITS
REMEDIES.
By
K.
C.
WHEARE.
Ham-
lyn Lectures
for
1978.
[London:
Stevens
b
Sons.
1073. 17‘3
pp.
21-75
net (paperback).]
’J’iris
yenr the Hanilyn Trustees in their wisdom have not asked
a
lawyer
but an eminent political scientist to deliver their lectures that are designed
to
demonstrate “the privileges which in law and custom they [the Common
People
of
the United Kingdom] enjoy in comparison with other European
I’eoplcs.’’
Sir Kenneth Wheare has admirably risen to the occasion and has
Iitm able to describe with
a
broader brush than is often used by
n
lawyer,
the whole field of remedies open
to
a
citizen who considers he has been
liiirmed by some act of “mdndministration.” Naturally the use of this
emotive word suggests that the author will concern himself primarily with
the Parliamentary Commissioner, and this is indeed the case, but he also
considers other remedies.
Simr Kenneth
starts
by attempting to describe maladministration, and
nsks
for
a
wide interpretation, quoting the New Zealnnd Act which enipowers
their Ombudsman to investigate any decision which
was wrong,” (see p.
13).
Then the author briefly discusses tlie remedies available through the courts
ill
tlie
nritisii system, pointing out
tlint
“it
woulci
seem that the French
citiren has available to him some things which the British citizen has not
and should have.” Sir Kenneth points out the comparative simplicity of the
procediire before
the
tribunals
administratifs
in France, without, however,
HISO
referring to the advantages of their substantive law (the width
of
the
grounds justifying the court’s intervention, the doctrine of liability for
I’
risk” in tort, etc.). There is also, of course,
a
full chapter on the work
of
Ombudsmen. But undoubtedly, the most original, nnd therefore the most
interesting,
of
the chapters are those entitled
Ministers
and
Committees.”
I
Iere Sir Kenneth discusses the effectiveness of and the limitations on minis-
teriiil responsibility, pointing out that the notion that the result of the
discovery of maladministration in his Jlepartment must be the resignation
of
the Jlinister, is quite erroneous.
Also,
whcreas the appointment of
a
special
Committee (for example, under the Tribunals
of
Enquiry Act
1921)
may excep-
tionally be necessnry, such a body cannot “be regarded
ns
part
of
the
rcgulnr and continuing machinery for preventing
or
remedying maladminis-
tration,”
(p.
109).
In conclusion, Sir Kenneth rightly points
out
that the
Parlinmentary Commissioner has encroached to some extent upon the
responsibility of Ministers, in that he can go behind the veil of secrecy
usunlly
surrounding the Minister’s decisions. Nevertheless, by his very
existmce, tlie Coniniissioner has improved the standard
of
administration and
strengthens the whole process of control within
a
government department.
This is, in short,
a
stimulnting
book,
and one which even the most humble
of
the
I’
Common People
of
Great Britain” could read with interest.
J. F. GARNER.
JURISPRUDENCE
:
TEXT
AND
READINGS
ON
THE
PHILOSOPIIY
OF
Law.
By
GEORGE
c.
CHRISTIE.
[st.
Paul:
West
Publishing
co.
1973.
xxxix
and
1056
pp.
$17-50.1
ONE
of the best things about this selection of readings
is
thut they are all
very long. The result
is
an even bigger book than might appear, as every
1678

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