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A.V. Dicey and the Common Law Constitutional Tradition
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: October 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781139236249
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Book description

In the common law world, Albert Venn Dicey (1835–1922) is known as the high priest of orthodox constitutional theory, as an ideological and nationalistic positivist. In his analytical coldness, his celebration of sovereign power, and his incessant drive to organize and codify legal rules separate from moral values or political realities, Dicey is an uncanny figure. This book challenges this received view of Dicey. Through a re-examination of his life and his 1885 book Law of the Constitution, the high priest Dicey is defrocked and a more human Dicey steps forward to offer alternative ways of reading his canonical text, who struggled to appreciate law as a form of reasoned discourse that integrates values of legality and authority through methods of ordinary legal interpretation. The result is a unique common law constitutional discourse through which assertions of sovereign power are conditioned by moral aspirations associated with the rule of law.


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