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Administrative Procedures for Resolving Complex Policy Questions: A Proposal for Proof Dissection
58 N.Y. St. B.J. 58
  • Harold I. Abramson, Touro Law Center
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Many commentaries have charged that the use of conventional trial procedures in the administrative process fails to provide an effective means for resolving complex policy questions. In particular, the excessive use of cross-examination has been cited as needlessly impairing the economy and efficiency of administrative proceedings. Excessive and redundant use of such procedures has also been criticized as undermining the accuracy of results by allowing unfettered attack on adversaries’ witnesses. Clearly, current opinion of the adversary system is that it “rates truth too low among values that institutions of justice are meant to serve.”

The problems surrounding the use of trial procedures by administrative agencies has lead some critics to conclude that these procedures should be reformed. This Article examines recent criticism and outlines various methods intended to increase the effectiveness of the fact finding process. Section I focuses on several recent administrative trials which suggest the ineffectiveness of conventional procedures where agencies are faced with complex policy questions. In section II, various proposals offered by commentators are examined to determine their usefulness in this area. Finally, Section III processes a procedure for the dissection of proof which modifies existing procedures in order to increase the efficiency and accuracy of agency action.


This article originally appeared in the Albany Law Review, Volume 47, 1983.

Citation Information
58 N.Y. St. B.J. 58 (1983)