Document Type


Citation Information

Please cite to the original publication


John Willis was not just a voice crying in the wilderness. But he was that too. He warned repeatedly about the emptiness of administrative lawyers' taste for 'separation of powers,' 'democracy,' and 'rule-of-law' talk, a discourse he labelled 'theology.'1 By that epithet Willis meant to signal that much of the conversation had little to do with the practical affairs of governance. And he lamented on numerous occasions the profound failure of administrative lawyers to pay close attention to what administrative agencies actually do, how they do it, and the internal ethics that both motivate and restrain their behaviour. Willis described himself as 'a government man' or 'a legislation man' and 'a what actually happens man, but he recognized that the profession was much more interested in remedies against government, usually in court, than in how administration could be organized to solve pressing social problems.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons