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Penn State Dickinson Law

Administrative Law

2019

Transparency

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Policing Of Prosecutors: More Lessons From Administrative Law?, Aaron L. Nielson Apr 2019

The Policing Of Prosecutors: More Lessons From Administrative Law?, Aaron L. Nielson

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

On a daily basis, prosecutors decide whether and how to charge individuals for alleged criminal conduct. Although many prosecutors avoid abusing this authority, prosecutors’ discretionary decisions might result in biased enforcement, inappropriate leveraging of authority, and a lack of transparency. These problems also arise when agency enforcement officials decide whether to act on conduct that violates a legal prohibition.

An inherent tension between the desire to avoid overburdening the system and the need to prevent inconsistent decision-making exists in the exercises of both prosecutorial discretion and regulatory enforcement discretion. It is clear from the similarities between the two that administrative …


O’Neill, Oh O’Neill, Wherefore Art Thou O’Neill: Defining And Cementing The Requirements For Asserting Deliberative Process Privilege, Andrew Scott Apr 2019

O’Neill, Oh O’Neill, Wherefore Art Thou O’Neill: Defining And Cementing The Requirements For Asserting Deliberative Process Privilege, Andrew Scott

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

The government may invoke the deliberative process privilege to protect the communications of government officials involving policy-driven decision-making. The privilege protects communications made before policy makers act upon the policy decision to allow government officials to speak candidly when deciding a course of action without fear of their words being used against them.

This privilege is not absolute and courts recognize the legitimate countervailing interest the public has in transparency. The Supreme Court in United States v. Reynolds held that someone with control over the protected information should personally consider the privilege before asserting it but did not provide definitive …