The Duty to Give Reasons in Administrative Decisions

By Marzia De Donno

As its starting point, the article takes the general crisis currently besetting
the rule of law, legal certainty and the separation of powers that characterizes
our legal system in general, and administrative law in particular; while
retaining on the background the constant oscillation between “form” and
“substance” and the demarcation between irregularities and «practicable
illegalities» in the context of the validity of administrative acts. Through an
analysis of the possible flaws of the so-called «legal reasons» for discretionary
administrative acts (i.e. omission, error and perplexities in the act’s references
to norms), the article demonstrates how the historically documented tendency
of Italian administrative judges is to exceed the limits imposed by Article
21-octies, Paragraph 2 of Law n. 241 of 7 August 1990, to the extent of
approaching excess of jurisdiction.