Substitution of Judgment Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

The substitution of judgment doctrine refers to a legal principle providing a standard for reviewing an agency’s decision. Under this doctrine, a court uses its independent judgment in interpreting administrative regulations and laws. A court makes interpretation on administrative regulations when an agency’s interpretation is not correct or lacks expertise. The substitution of judgment doctrine is generally invoked in incompetency cases. [In re Dana, 119 Misc. 2d 815 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1982)].