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Administrative law is a key determinant of legitimate executive-branch policy making. Democracies cannot realistically limit policy making to the legislature. Delegation under broad, framework statutes is essential for effective government, but it does not eliminate the need for democratic responsiveness. Those interested in strengthening democracy should not be content with the patterns of delegation, consultation, and oversight that arise from the self-interested behaviour of politicians. This essay summarizes a number of different models, but whatever route they choose, emerging democracies need to assure rights to participate beyond a predetermined group of stakeholders and to make these rights legally enforceable. Reformers in the emerging economies that have been a focus of Michael Trebilcock’s work need to seek democratic legitimacy, not just in electoral systems, but also in public administration.
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