Constitutional & Administrative Law

What is Constitutional Law?

There is no hard and fast definition of constitutional law. G. Marshall in his book Constitutional Theory defines constitutional law as that part of the law which relates to the systems of government of the country. Wade and Bradley suggest that a more useful definition is to "define constitutional law as meaning those laws which regulate the structure of the principal organs of government and their relationship to each other and to the citizen and to determine their main function." We prefer the latter definition.

In The Bahamas there is a written constitution emphasis is placed on the rules it contains and on the way in which hey have been interpreted by the highest court in this jurisdiction, namely, the Privy Council. A written constitution is not to be construed in the same rigid manner as a statute or even a commercial contract but must be construed purposively. The purpose and functionality of legal rules can only be understood with knowledge of the socio-economic background against which the rules apply.

An important feature of the constitution of The Bahamas, as it is with all of the former British Colonies in the Caribbean region is the chapter that is dedicated to the protection of human rights of all people in the Country. The vast majority of constitutional matters that call for adjudication by the courts are related to claims of violation of one or more of the rights protected by this chapter.

What is Administrative Law?

Administrative law has been defined by Maitland as the law which determines the organization, powers and duties of administrative authorities. In the administration of the social services, and in the regulation of economic activities individual come into contact with public officials. In disputes arising out of such interaction the individual has recourse to the court for redress by way of judicial review, which is a process whereby the courts examine the process employed by the public officials to determine whether there has been any illegal unfair or unreasonable conduct on their part sufficient to cause the court to quash any action that was taken.

The attorneys at Evans & Co. are experienced in this area of law; Mr. Evans Q.C. in particular has practiced in this field for the past 36 years and has the distinction of being considered the leading advocate in the Bahamas in this area having successfully represented the Bahamas Government on many occasions, political parties, labour unions, religious organization, student bodies as well as private individuals on matters concerning Administrative and Constitutional law before the Bahamas Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Privy Counsel. He is ably assisted by Ms. Veronique J.N. Evans and Mr. Gladstone Brown, Jr.
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