Quasi-judicial body

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A quasi-judicial body is a non-judicial body which can interpret law. It is an entity such as an arbitrator or tribunal board, generally of a public administrative agency, which has powers and procedures resembling those of a court of law or judge, and which is obliged to objectively determine facts and draw conclusions from them so as to provide the basis of an official action; such actions are able to remedy a situation or impose legal penalties, and they may affect the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties.[1]


Such bodies usually have powers of adjudication in such matters as:

  • breach of discipline
  • conduct rules
  • trust in the matters of money or otherwise

Their powers are usually limited to a very specific area of expertise and authority, such as land use and zoning, financial markets, employment law, public standards, and/or a specific set of regulations of an agency.[1]

Differences from judicial bodies[edit]

There are some key differences between judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, in that:

  • Judicial decisions are bound by precedent in common law, whereas quasi-judicial decisions usually are not so bound;
  • In the absence of precedent in common law, judicial decisions may create new law, whereas quasi-judicial decisions must be based on conclusions of existing law;[1]
  • Quasi-judicial bodies need not follow strict judicial rules of evidence and procedure;
  • Quasi-judicial bodies must hold formal hearings only if mandated to do so under their governing laws or regulations;[1]
  • Quasi-judicial bodies, unlike courts, may be a party in a matter and issue a decision thereon at the same time.


In general, decisions of a quasi-judicial body require findings of facts to reach conclusions of law that justify the decision, they usually depend on a pre-determined set of guidelines or criteria to assess the nature and gravity of the permission or relief sought, or of the offense committed. Decisions of a quasi-judicial body are often legally enforceable under the laws of a jurisdiction; they can be challenged in a court of law, which is the final decisive authority.[1]

List of quasi-judicial bodies[edit]

The following is a partial list of quasi-judicial bodies:

Further reading[edit]

  • Mashaw, Jerry L., Richard A. Merrill, and Peter M. Shane. 1992. Administrative Law: The American Public Law System; Cases and Materials. 3d ed. St. Paul, Minn.: West.


  1. ^ a b c d e West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 18, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)