The persons in Administrative Law

Who is a legal subject in Administrative Law? In short, these are: the administrative authority (administrative body) and the interested party.

The governing body

The General Administrative Law Act only applies to administrative authorities or administrative bodies. The administrative body is the unit to which administrative powers, rights and obligations can be assigned. We know the following forms:

  • A administrative body: bodies of legal entities, established under public law.
  • B administrative body: other persons and bodies with any public authority, established under private law.
  • C administrative body: legal entities under private law over which the government has a predominant influence.
  • Independent administrative body (ZBO)


The Provinces, Water Boards and the State are some examples. These legal entities consist of bodies that have powers and are therefore administrative bodies. The names of these bodies are usually stated in the law that established the legal entity. It does not matter whether it changes the legal position of citizens.

B organ

For B bodies, the General Administrative Law Act only applies if the body (possibly) changes the legal position of citizens.


This independently decides how it will act in a certain situation. This cannot therefore be imposed by a higher administrative authority.

The interested party

The concept of an interested party is defined in Article 1:2 of the General Administrative Law Act as: the person whose interest is directly involved in a decision.

  • Directly interested party: the person to whom a decision is sent by letter or also the addressee.
  • Third party: the person who also has a direct interest, but is not a direct interested party.

Also interested parties may be:

  • A governing body
  • A legal entity

What requirements must be met to be an interested party?

The person to whom the decision is addressed is always an interested party. There are conditions for the other stakeholders: the interest is:

  • Objective interest; everyone should be able to understand it, so it should not be a purely ideal interest.
  • Personal interest; an individual personal interest.
  • Own sake; so not from everyone.
  • Direct interest must be affected: not by the interest of someone else, so there is a causal link between the decision and the interest.
  • Current interest; it must exist now, it must be certain and not possibly arise in the future.

Legal entities can also be interested parties: they can stand up for their own interests, just like natural persons, but also for general interests if the following requirements are met:

  • The interest must be represented specifically enough;
  • A legal entity must take care of this;
  • This must also be evident from what they do and from their articles of association.

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  • Administrative authority
  • Administrative acts