The French make it clear in the titles of their texts on administrative law that administrative law is first and foremost about enabling the proper functioning of the administration in its principal activity of serving the public, rather than about the control of the administration. Those concerned with the institutions and principles governing administrative conduct are designated by the label ‘droit administrative’ (administrative law) whilst those about judicial review and governmental liability have the label ‘contentieux administrative’ (administrative litigation). These questions shape this brief treatment of administrative law: what is the public service or a public function, in what way is it different from the private sector, and how does this affect litigation, judicial control of administrative action and governmental liability.
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