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Title: Treating people fairly : a socio-legal approach to administrative justice
Author: Adler, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis consists of a critical review of a portfolio of eight journal articles and book chapters on normative aspects of decision making in education and social security (Chapter 1); an overview of the most important research on procedural fairness and administrative justice that I have undertaken (Chapter 2); and the portfolio of papers referred to above (Chapters 3-10). Chapter 2 develops a socio-legal approach to procedural fairness, which sees it in terms of the ‘trade-offs’ that are made between a number of competing conceptions of administrative justice, and illustrates its power by outlining empirical research on the computerisation of social security in the UK, discretionary decision-making in Scottish prisons, the assessment of special educational needs in Scotland and England, and the aims and consequences of computerisation of social security in 12 OECD countries. Chapters 3-5 are concerned with education and are based on a programme of research on the socio-legal and policy implications of parental choice legislation in Scotland which concluded that it had not produced an optimal balance between the rights of parents to choose schools for their own children and the duties of education authorities to promote the education of all children of school age. Chapter 3 outlines an alternative approach which takes choice seriously but avoids some of the adverse consequences of the existing legislation. Chapter 4 puts forward a set of institutional changes which would, it is argued, produce a better balance between the legitimate concerns of all the interested parties by involving teachers in the process of deciding which school would best facilitate a given child’s learning and thus promote that child’s interests. Chapter 5 provides some critical reflections on the programme of research, reviews subsequent policy developments, and considers how further research could respond to them. Chapters 6-10 are concerned with social security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available