The User-Preference Principle in Administrative Justice

13 Pages Posted: 6 May 2019

See all articles by Joe Tomlinson

Joe Tomlinson

University of York; Public Law Project

Date Written: April 11, 2019


This short paper seeks to unpack the seemingly omnipresent governing commitment to make administrative justice processes tailored to ‘users.’ While there now appears to be a cross-party consensus on the desirability of giving this ‘user-preference principle’ effect, there is in fact multifaceted disagreement operating beneath the surface. Within this context, this paper seeks to generate greater analytical clarity within the discourse around the principle, highlight the nature of disagreements about it, and offer a model for understanding differing conceptions of this commitment. In doing so, its secondary aim — though this task lies outside the scope of this paper — is to supply the foundations for future empirical inquiry as to the practical construction and implementation of the principle.

Suggested Citation

Tomlinson, Joe, The User-Preference Principle in Administrative Justice (April 11, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Joe Tomlinson (Contact Author)

University of York ( email )

United Kingdom

Public Law Project ( email )

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