Who Said There is a ‘Right to Good Administration’? A Critical Analysis of Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Who Said There is a ‘Right to Good Administration’? A Critical Analysis of Article 41 of the... Rhita BOUSTA* 1 INTRODUCTION `Good administration' is a wide and flexible notion. Even though it concerns everybody's daily life, no precise definition can be found in law dictionaries. It also inspires soft law instruments such as the Civil Service Order in Council,1 the Citizen's Charter2 or the Civil Service Code.3 In everyone's mind, it is linked to `maladministration'4 and to the model of New Public Management that is spreading all over Europe.5 But what is its precise legal meaning? There are very few answers to the question. Legal provisions directly referring to `good administration' are mainly found in EU law (European Court of Justice (ECJ) case law, Recommendations of the Council of Europe,6 the European Code of good administrative behaviour draft by the European Ombudsman), where the notion is often expressed as a general principle. But the provisions show just how adaptable it is. Quite symptomatically, EU judges tend to mix it up with the principle of diligence (or solicitude). In ECJ Permanent Lecturer at Université Lille 2 Droit et Santé, `Droits et Perspectives du Droit' Research Center ­ EA n°4487, www.rhitabousta.net. Order in Council (under royal prerogative), 4 June 1870. The Citizen's Charter, National Consumer Council, H.M.S.O., http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Public Law Kluwer Law International

Who Said There is a ‘Right to Good Administration’? A Critical Analysis of Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

European Public Law, Volume 19 (3) – Jun 1, 2013

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Kluwer Law International
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Copyright © Kluwer Law International
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1354-3725
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Abstract

Rhita BOUSTA* 1 INTRODUCTION `Good administration' is a wide and flexible notion. Even though it concerns everybody's daily life, no precise definition can be found in law dictionaries. It also inspires soft law instruments such as the Civil Service Order in Council,1 the Citizen's Charter2 or the Civil Service Code.3 In everyone's mind, it is linked to `maladministration'4 and to the model of New Public Management that is spreading all over Europe.5 But what is its precise legal meaning? There are very few answers to the question. Legal provisions directly referring to `good administration' are mainly found in EU law (European Court of Justice (ECJ) case law, Recommendations of the Council of Europe,6 the European Code of good administrative behaviour draft by the European Ombudsman), where the notion is often expressed as a general principle. But the provisions show just how adaptable it is. Quite symptomatically, EU judges tend to mix it up with the principle of diligence (or solicitude). In ECJ Permanent Lecturer at Université Lille 2 Droit et Santé, `Droits et Perspectives du Droit' Research Center ­ EA n°4487, www.rhitabousta.net. Order in Council (under royal prerogative), 4 June 1870. The Citizen's Charter, National Consumer Council, H.M.S.O.,

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European Public LawKluwer Law International

Published: Jun 1, 2013

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