Pathological Boundaries in the Field of Comparative Administrative Law

The field of comparative administrative law was, until a decade ago, nascent in its’ development relative to comparative constitutional law. However, it is now a firmly established field of comparative study, with an expanding jurisdictional and regional coverage on a wider range of issues, institutions and themes in the literature. This paper looks at these comparative endeavors with a view to proposing how the field can progress further. It will highlight certain pathological boundaries that still persist in comparison. In particular, the, sometimes, stark binary distinction drawn – implicitly or explicitly – between ‘civil’ and ‘common law’ systems. This paper will demonstrate how we need to approach these jurisdictional families from the perspective of variance and nuance rather than similarity. The paper concludes by sketching out possible alternative fault lines to use as the basis for constructing and grouping systems.