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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.
Government accountability is generally accepted to be an essential feature of modern democratic society; while others might turn a blind eye to corruption and wrongdoing, those who value accountability would instead shine a bright light on it. In this context, it is common to hear claims of accountability 'deficit' (a particular mechanism or area is lacking in accountability) and 'overload' (a particular mechanism or area over-delivers on accountability). Despite the frequency of references to these concepts, their precise content remains undeveloped. This book offers an explanation, as well as a framework for future exploration, of these concepts. It highlights the difficulty of defining a benchmark that might be used to measure the amount of accountability in a particular situation, and also the challenge of mapping out accountability mechanisms as a system. While difficult, if accountability is indeed a foundational concept underpinning our system of government, there is merit in meeting these challenges head-on.
Growing public discontent with the performance and quality of many contemporary democracies makes them vulnerable to popular pressures to profoundly transform or replace their constitutions. However, there is little systematic academic discussion on the legal and political challenges that these events pose to democratic principles and practices. This book, a collaborative effort by legal scholars and political scientists, analyzes these challenges from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. It fills a theoretical vacuum by examining the possibility that constitutions might be replaced within a democratic regime, while exploring the conditions under which these processes are more compatible or less compatible with democratic principles. It also calls attention to the real-world political importance of the phenomenon, because recent episodes of constitutional redrafting in countries including Kenya, Poland, Venezuela and Hungary suggest that some aspects of these processes may be associated with either the improvement or the gradual erosion of democracy.
Post-war legal scholars commonly consider the Third Reich's judicial system to be the paradigm of 'evil law'. By examining how crucial parts of this distorted normative order evolved and were justified by regime-loyal legal theorists, we can appreciate how law can bend to a political ideology and fail to keep state power from transgressing elementary standards of humanity and the rule of law. From 1933 to 1939, a flood of publications reflected on the question of how to adapt law to the political ends of National Socialism, debating both the normative and constitutional foundations of the National Socialist state, and the proper form and content of criminal and police law in this new political framework. These debates, the main threads of which are central to this book, reveal the normative ideas driving the Führer state and the legal subtext to the Nazi regime's escalating atrocities.
The process of European constitutionalisation is met with extensive scepticism in current national legal and political spheres and in broader circles of public opinion across Europe. By shedding light on these concerns, this book reveals a widespread misunderstanding of constitutional federalism, which permeates the Member State courts, popular media, and many academic communities. A failure to address confusion over this fundamental concept is leading us towards impoverished development of the EU's 'Second Constitution', and even ensuring that the role of both domestic and international European courts in enriching the constitutionalisation process is overlooked and undervalued. In a bid to avoid such consequences, this book explores how federalism and further constitutionalisation - rightly understood in a dialogue of the European courts - may actually change this process and allow a clearer advance toward Europe's Second Constitution for, but also with, the people of Europe.
The Jewish leftist lawyer Ernst Fraenkel was one of twentieth-century Germany's great intellectuals. During the Weimar Republic he was a shrewd constitutional theorist for the Social Democrats and in post-World War II Germany a respected political scientist who worked to secure West Germany's new democracy. This book homes in on the most dramatic years of Fraenkel's life, when he worked within Nazi Germany actively resisting the regime, both publicly and secretly. As a lawyer, he represented political defendants in court. As a dissident, he worked in the underground. As an intellectual, he wrote his most famous work, The Dual State – a classic account of Nazi law and politics. This first detailed account of Fraenkel's career in Nazi Germany opens up a new view on anti-Nazi resistance – its nature, possibilities, and limits. With grit, daring and imagination, Fraenkel fought for freedom against an increasingly repressive regime.
What motivates political actors with diverging interests to respect the Supreme Court's authority? A popular answer is that the public serves as the guardian of judicial independence by punishing elected officials who undermine the justices. Curbing the Court challenges this claim, presenting a new theory of how we perceive the Supreme Court. Bartels and Johnston argue that, contrary to conventional wisdom, citizens are not principled defenders of the judiciary. Instead, they seek to limit the Court's power when it suits their political aims, and this inclination is heightened during times of sharp partisan polarization. Backed by a wealth of observational and experimental data, Bartels and Johnston push the conceptual, theoretical, and empirical boundaries of the study of public opinion of the courts. By connecting citizens to the strategic behavior of elites, this book offers fresh insights into the vulnerability of judicial institutions in an increasingly contentious era of American politics.
A cluster of Asian states are well-known for their authoritarian legality while having been able to achieve remarkable economic growth. Why would an authoritarian regime seek or tolerate a significant degree of legality and how has such type of legality been made possible in Asia? Would a transition towards a liberal, democratic system eventually take place and, if so, what kind of post-transition struggles are likely to be experienced? This book compares the past and current experiences of China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam and offers a comparative framework for readers to conduct a theoretical dialogue with the orthodox conception of liberal democracy and the rule of law.
Why should we care about religious liberty? Leading commentators, United Kingdom courts, and the European Court of Human Rights have de-emphasised the special importance of religious liberty. They frequently contend it falls within a more general concern for personal autonomy. In this liberal egalitarian account, religious liberty claims are often rejected when faced with competing individual interests – the neutral secular state must protect us against the liberty-constraining acts of religions. Joel Harrison challenges this account. He argues that it is rooted in a theologically derived narrative of secularisation: rather than being neutral, it rests on a specific construction of 'secular' and 'religious' spheres. This challenge makes space for an alternative theological, political, and legal vision. Drawing from Christian thought, from St Augustine to John Milbank, Harrison develops a post-liberal focus on association. Religious liberty, he argues, facilitates creating communities seeking solidarity, fraternity, and charity – goals that are central to our common good.
Although it is usually assumed that only the federal government can confer citizenship, localities often give residents who are noncitizens at the federal level the benefits of local citizenship: access to medical care, education, housing, security, labor and consumer markets, and even voting rights. In this work, Kenneth A. Stahl demonstrates that while the existence of these 'noncitizen citizens' has helped to reconcile competing commitments within liberal democracy to equality and community, the advance of globalization and the rise of nationalist political leaders like Donald Trump has caused local and federal citizenship to clash. For nationalists, localities' flexible approach to citizenship is a Trojan horse undermining state sovereignty from within, while liberals see local citizenship as the antidote to a reactionary ethnic nationalism. This book should be read by anyone who wants to understand why citizenship has become one of the most important issues in national politics today.
What explains the explosive growth of school vouchers in the last two decades? In America's Voucher Politics, Ursula Hackett shows that the voucher movement is rooted in America's foundational struggles over religion, race, and the role of government versus the private sector. Drawing upon original datasets, archival materials, and more than one hundred interviews, Hackett shows that policymakers and political advocates use strategic policy design and rhetoric to hide the role of the state when their policy goals become legally controversial. For over sixty years of voucher litigation, white supremacists, accommodationists, and individualists have deployed this strategy of attenuated governance in court. By learning from previous mistakes and anticipating downstream effects, policymakers can avoid painful defeats, gain a secure legal footing, and entrench their policy commitments despite the surging power of rivals. An ideal case study, education policy reflects multiple axes of conflict in American politics and demonstrates how policy learning unfolds over time.
Proportionality in Action presents an empirical and comparative exploration of the proportionality doctrine, based on detailed accounts of the application of the framework by apex courts in six jurisdictions: Germany, Canada, South Africa, Israel, Poland and India. The analysis of each country is written and contextualized by a constitutional scholar from the relevant jurisdiction. Each country analysis draws upon a large sample of case law and employs a mixed methodological approach: an expansive coding scheme allows for quantitative analysis providing comparable and quantifiable measurements, which is enriched by qualitative analysis that engages with the substance of the decisions and captures nuance, contextualizing the data and providing it with meaning. The book concludes with a comparative chapter that synthesizes some of the most interesting findings. Focusing on deviations of the practice of proportionality from theory, the authors conclude their argument in support of an integrated approach to the application of proportionality.