A new publication, Responsive Legality: The new administrative justice by Dr Zach Richards (Keele University), explores the legal and moral values underpinning public decision-making in the 21st century. Zach is the winner of the UKAJI New Voices award, presented at the New Voices in Administrative Justice workshop at the University of Sheffield in September 2017.
Responsive Legality is an important book about twenty-first century justice. It explores the legal and moral values that twenty-first-century public officials use to make their decisions, engaging existing theoretical models of administrative justice and updating them to reflect changed twenty-first-century conditions. Together, these features of twenty-first century public administration are coined ‘responsive legality’.
Whereas twentieth-century public officials were generally driven by their concern for bureaucratic rationality, professional treatment, moral judgement and – towards the end of the century – the logics of ‘new managerialism’, the twenty-first-century public official embodies greater complexity in their characteristic pursuit of substantive and procedural justice.
In responsive legality, government decision makers show a distinct concern for the protective parameters of the rule of law, a purposive pursuit of fair outcomes and a commitment to flexible decision making. Examining the characteristics and conditions of this form of justice-oriented administrative action, the book draws together a range of academic studies on public administration across the social sciences and socio-legal studies in a timely and accessible manner and is an essential read for those interested in governance, justice and welfare.
Dr Zach Richards, Responsive Legality: The new administrative justice (Routledge, 2019), https://www.routledge.com/Responsive-Legality-The-New-Administrative-Justice/Richards/p/book/9781138592742