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The aim of this book is to analyse the role played by agencies in several countries. Since their introduction agencies have risen to prominence in many European systems. Most contributions have been set up as monographs dealing with agencies in a particular jurisdiction. An analysis of the situation in the U.S., which is the birthplace of the agency-concept, is followed by descriptions of several European systems, including the European Union itself. The authors have all used the same format enabling the reader to draw comparative conclusions. In addition, comparative contributions have been provided on the way political oversight has been organised in several countries, and on the standards used by courts when reviewing agency action.