Arguably no political principle has been more central than the separation of powers to the evolution of constitutional governance in Western democracies. M. J. C. Vile traces the history of the doctrine from its rise during the English Civil War, through its development in the eighteenth century--through subsequent political thought and constitution-making in Britain, France, and the United States.
Modern constitutionalism has put a lot of hopes in parliaments but there is some consensus that these hopes have not been entirely fulfilled. At the same time, the role of parliaments in contemporary democracies continues to evolve as parliaments are faced with new challenges. How should they react to the new forms of executive and administrative action? Should they play a role in upholding judicial independence, although the latter is frequently seen as independence from parliament as well as the executive? How should they contribute to the protection of fundamental rights? The book aims at providing some answers to these questions by first setting the historic scene, giving a comparative overview of the modern history of a selection of major European deliberative institutions (UK, France, Germany and the European Parliament). The book then looks at themes around the doctrine of separation of powers, especially aspects of the relationship between parliament and the executive power and parliaments' role and attitude regarding the judiciary with a special focus on the independence of the judiciary in a comparative perspective.
In this follow-up volume to the critically acclaimed The Constitutional State, N. W. Barber explores how the principles of constitutionalism structure and influence successful states. Constitutionalism is not exclusively a mechanism to limit state powers. An attractive and satisfying account of constitutionalism, and, by derivation, of the state, can only be reached if the principles of constitutionalism are seen as interlocking parts of a broader doctrine. This holistic study of the relationship between the constitutional state and its central principles - sovereignty; the separation of powers; the rule of law; subsidiarity; democracy; and civil society - casts light on long-standing debates over the meaning and implications of constitutionalism. The book provides a concise introduction to constitutionalism and a detailed account of the nature and implications of each of the principles in question. It concludes with an examination of the importance of constitutional principles to the work of judges, legislators, and others involved in the operation and creation of the constitution. The book is essential reading for those seeking a definitive account of constitutionalism and its benefits.
The Law of the Constitution has been the main doctrinal influence upon English constitutional thought since the late-nineteenth century. It acquired and long retained extraordinary legal authority, despite fierce criticism and many changes in law and government. By many, it was treated as a canonical text embodying axiomatic principles, or it was simply understood as indeed the law of the constitution; and even by its critics, it was still granted the status of orthodoxy. Basic constitutional principles became commonly conceived in Diceyan terms: parliamentary sovereignty was pure and absolute in being without legal limit; and Dicey's rule of law precluded recognition of an English administrative law and thus retarded its development for decades. Reaffirmed in each new edition of Dicey's canonical text, the constitution itself seemed static. The Oxford Edition of Dicey provides sources with which to reassess the extraordinary authority and lasting influence of Dicey's canonical text. This volume consists of Dicey's rare first edition in its original lecture form and of the main addenda in later editions. It facilitates a historical understanding of Dicey's original text in its context and of later changes when they were made. In introducing the first volume, John Allison reassesses The Law of the Constitution's authority and the kinds of response it has elicited in view of its original educative form and educational context.
The idea of the separation of powers is still popular in much political and constitutional discourse, though its meaning for the modern state remains unclear and contested. This book develops a new, comprehensive, and systematic account of the principle. It then applies this new concept to legal problems of different national constitutional orders, the law of the European Union, and international institutional law. It connects an argument from normative political theory with phenomena taken from comparative constitutional law. The book argues that the conflict between individual liberty and democratic self-determination that is characteristic of modern constitutionalism is proceduralized through the establishment of different governmental branches. A close analysis of the relation between individual and collective autonomy on the one hand and the ways lawmaking through public institutions can be established on the other hand helps us identify criteria for determining how legislative, administrative, and judicial lawmaking can be distinguished and should be organized. These criteria define a common ground in the confusing variety of western constitutional traditions and their diverse use of the notion of separated powers. They also enable us to establish a normative framework that throws a fresh perspective on problems of constitutional law in different constitutional systems: constitutional judicial review of legislation, limits of legislative delegation, parliamentary control of the executive, and standing. Linking arguments from comparative constitutional law and international law, the book then uses this framework to offer a new perspective on the debate on constitutionalism beyond the state. The concept permits certain institutional insights of the constitutional experiences within states to be applied at the international level without falling into any form of methodological nationalism.
This book examines the constitutional principles governing the relationship between legislatures and courts at that critical crossroads of their power where legislatures may seek to intervene in the judicial process, or to interfere with judicial functions, to secure outcomes consistent with their policy objectives or interests. Cases of high political moment are usually involved, where the temptation, indeed political imperative, for legislatures to intervene can be overwhelming. Although the methods of intervention are various, ranging from the direct and egregious to the subtle and imperceptible, unbridled legislative power in this regard has been a continuing concern in all common law jurisdictions. Prominent examples include direct legislative interference in pending cases, usurpation of judicial power by legislatures, limitations on the jurisdiction of courts, strategic amendments to law applicable to cases pending appeal, and attempts directly to overturn court decisions in particular cases. Because the doctrine of the separation of powers, as an entrenched constitutional rule, is a major source of principle, the book will examine in detail the jurisprudence of the United States and Australia in particular. These jurisdictions have identical constitutional provisions entrenching that doctrine as well as the most developed jurisprudence on this point. The legal position in the United Kingdom, which does not have an entrenched separation of powers doctrine, will be examined as a counterpoint. Other relevant jurisdictions (such as Canada, Ireland and India) are also examined in the context of particular principles, particularly when their respective jurisprudence is rather more developed on discrete points. The book examines how the relevant constitutional principles strive to maintain the primacy of the law-making role of the legislature in a representative democracy and yet afford the decisional independence of the judiciary that degree of protection essential to protect it from the legislature's 'impetuous vortex', to borrow the words of James Madison from The Federalist (No 48).
Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism highlights Wilson's sharp departure from the traditional principles of American government, most notably the Constitution. Ronald J. Pestritto persuasively argues that Wilson's unfailing criticism places him clearly in line with the Progressives' assault on the original principles of American constitutionalism. Drawing primarily from early writings and speeches that Wilson made during his years as a scholar, Pestritto examines the future president's clear and consistent ideologies that laid the foundation for later actions taken as a public leader.
The first five editions of this well established book were written by Colin Turpin. This new edition has been prepared jointly by Colin Turpin and Adam Tomkins. This edition sees a major restructuring of the material, as well as a complete updating. New developments such as the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and recent case law concerning the sovereignty of Parliament, the Human Rights Act, counter-terrorism and protests against the Iraq War, among other matters, are extracted and analysed. While it includes extensive material and commentary on contemporary constitutional reform, Turpin and Tomkins is a book that covers the historical traditions and the continuity of the British constitution as well as the current tide of change. All the chapters contain detailed suggestions for further reading. Designed principally for law students the book includes substantial extracts from parliamentary and other political sources, as well as from legislation and case law. As such it is essential reading also for politics and government students. Much of the material has been reworked and with its fresh design the book provides a detailed yet accessible account of the British constitution at a fascinating moment in its ongoing development.