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Randolph L Hill, Michelle A Wenisch and Suzanne B Krolikowski

Governmental agencies resolve environmental protection questions within the confines of a country’s administrative laws and practices. The technical complexity of environmental decisions, combined with the potentially significant economic and social impacts of uncontrolled environmental harm and possibly misdirected environmental regulation, heightens the general need for mechanisms to independently review and correct errors of law and fact by initial decision makers. This chapter outlines the process of administrative review, which is the system of public law or governmental practice that nations use to authorize internal appeals of government decisions. Such appeals are heard by non-judicial or quasi-judicial fora, located within government agencies or external to them, in specialized administrative tribunals. The chapter presents several examples of administrative review, focusing primarily on the United States and China, to demonstrate the role of such review in environmental decision making.