This article argues for the transfer of an approach from administrative law to the wider field of administrative justice. The approach in question is the normative elaboration of fundamental institutional concepts. The study of administrative law has devoted much attention to this: it has seen nuanced debates about concepts such as the Rule of Law and the separation of powers. This article claims that there are a further range of fundamental institutional concepts within the field of administrative justice. Such concepts include ‘timeliness’, ‘administrative independence’, and ‘public service ethos’. These concepts are frequently used, normatively disputed (whether explicitly or by implication), and, to date, without proper reflection of their normative content. Such reflection will benefit the contemporary administrative justice debate.