Administrative court judgements | In Principle

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Administrative court judgements

The province administrative court first examines the formal and legal correctness of the complaint. If it finds formal obstacles to considering the complaint, it will reject the complaint. If the court finds no formal or legal deficiencies in the complaint, it will examine it on the merits.

The province administrative court rules within the limits of the case but is not bound by the allegations and conclusions stated in the complaint or the legal grounds raised by the party. Consequently, the court will independently assess the correctness of the action or decision of the administration authority in the case and its compliance with the law.

After considering the complaint, the administrative court issues a ruling in which:

  • It denies the complaint and dismisses the case, or
  • If the complaint is upheld:
    • It vacates the decision or ruling in whole or part if it finds:
      • A violation of substantive law which had an impact on the outcome of the case
      • A legal violation giving cause to resume the administrative proceedings
      • A violation of procedural rules that could have had a significant impact on the outcome of the case
    • It declares the invalidity of the decision or ruling in whole or part on grounds set forth in the Administrative Procedure Code or other law, or
    • It declares that the decision or ruling was issued in violation of the law, on grounds set forth in the Administrative Procedure Code or other law.

The province administrative court has the power to quash rather than reform, meaning that it can only vacate an administrative act and remand the case for reconsideration to the administrative authority. The administrative court cannot, however, amend an administrative act and issue a substantive decision (i.e. decide in place of the administrative authority). What it can do is include in the judgment instructions for the administrative authority on how it should further proceed in the case. The province administrative court may vacate administrative acts of the authorities of both instances (if it decides that both the first and the second decision in the case were issued incorrectly) or only of the second instance.