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Discretionary Power of Public Administration

Its Scope and Control


Edited By Leszek Leszczyński and Adam Szot

The book analyzes various aspects and examples of public administration discretionary power within the processes of law application. It presents a variety of factors that may affect the range of discretion as well as the influence on public administration’s reasoning. The authors evaluate the complexity of forms and procedures for control of decision latitude that is exercised by the public administration and the society.

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Discretionality, Margin of Decision and Administrative Discretionary Authority – an Attempt at Terminological Clarification (Małgorzata Jaśkowska)


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Małgorzata Jaśkowska

(Associate Professor, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Poland; The Supreme Administrative Court of Poland Judge)

Discretionality, Margin of Decision and Administrative Discretionary Authority – an Attempt at Terminological Clarification

Abstract: The article is aimed at systemizing the terminology related to the discretionary power of public authorities, given the scope of the concepts covered by it. It constitutes a proposal of a specific understanding of the concepts of discretionality, margin of decision and administrative discretionary authority.

Keywords: discretionality, margin of decision, administrative discretionary authority

1.  Introduction

In the literature of administrative law the terms discretionality (dyskrecjonalność), discretionary authority (uznanie) or margin of decision (luzy decyzyjne) are frequently used as synonyms, and no regard is given to their internal differentiation1. Other authors, however, assign different meanings to these terms2. A number of causes for the absence of synonymity are given. References are made to the ← 15 | 16 → linguistic understanding of the terms, their etymology or designed purpose, and it is emphasised that some of them have been created for the purposes of the theory of law while others are applied within a given branch of law. This paper is an attempt to elaborate on and substantiate a concept covered by the latter line of argument, whose outline I have presented in my earlier publications3. This is because in my opinion if one applies these terms as carrying different meanings, one will obtain...

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