Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The following discussion of certain aspects of administrative law is a revised version of a report prepared during the 1963-64 academic year in response to a request by the Tennessee Law Revision Commission for an evaluation of issues to be considered in adopting an administrative procedure act for the State of Tennessee. Because one of the Model State Administrative Procedure Acts would probably be used as the basis for a Tennessee Act, the discussion is based upon a comparative analysis of the workings of the original Model Act, the Revised Model Act, and the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

Whether a generalized administrative procedure act is desirable for Tennessee depends in part upon how one assesses the present workings of the various administrative bodies within the state and the present allocation of functions between courts and agencies. The resolution of the question also depends upon an evaluation of whether new statutory criteria would generate more uncertainty and dispute than they would resolve and whether the uncertainties generated by anew statute would be outweighed by procedural improvements in various agencies. As will be apparent from the discussion throughout the paper, there is great diversity in the tasks and functions of the various administrative bodies; hence, the perennial question associated with administrative law reform must be faced squarely and answered honestly: Is there sufficient common ground among the several agencies that some aspects of their procedures can be treated profitably under a single statute? If the answer is affirmative, then that common ground must be specified.