English public law , unlike some of our continental counterparts such as that of France , or EU Law , does not impose upon the state any liability to compensate those injured by maladministration. Thus , in order to obtain compensation , those who are harmed by maladaministration must bring themselves within the ordinary law of tort.

Though some well-suited torts exist , they are targeted at such a narrow spectrum of state activity , they are of little relevance to most public lawyers. The public lawyer needs a tort that can be applied to any form of executive action , a tort of general application. There are really only two candidates for this: misfeasance in public office and negligence.

The aim of this paper is to look at these two torts and consider why , despite their general application , they offer only limited redress against public authorities.