Author: Maurice Adams
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2017-01-31
Rule of law and constitutionalist ideals are understood by many, if not most, as necessary to create a just political order. Defying the traditional division between normative and positive theoretical approaches, this book explores how political reality on the one hand, and constitutional ideals on the other, mutually inform and influence each other. Seventeen chapters from leading international scholars cover a diverse range of topics and case studies to test the hypothesis that the best normative theories, including those regarding the role of constitutions, constitutionalism and the rule of law, conceive of the ideal and the real as mutually regulating.
Author: Douglas E Edlin
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Release Date: 2016-08-03
Genre: Political Science
Are judges supposed to be objective? Citizens, scholars, and legal professionals commonly assume that subjectivity and objectivity are opposites, with the corollary that subjectivity is a vice and objectivity is a virtue. These assumptions underlie passionate debates over adherence to original intent and judicial activism. In Common Law Judging, Douglas Edlin challenges these widely held assumptions by reorienting the entire discussion. Rather than analyze judging in terms of objectivity and truth, he argues that we should instead approach the role of a judge’s individual perspective in terms of intersubjectivity and validity. Drawing upon Kantian aesthetic theory as well as case law, legal theory, and constitutional theory, Edlin develops a new conceptual framework for the respective roles of the individual judge and of the judiciary as an institution, as well as the relationship between them, as integral parts of the broader legal and political community. Specifically, Edlin situates a judge’s subjective responses within a form of legal reasoning and reflective judgment that must be communicated to different audiences. Edlin concludes that the individual values and perspectives of judges are indispensable both to their judgments in specific cases and to the independence of the courts. According to the common law tradition, judicial subjectivity is a virtue, not a vice.
Author: James Reist Stoner
Release Date: 2003
"In an ere as morally confused as ours, Stoner argues, we at least ought to know what we've abandoned or suppressed in the name of judicial activism and the modern rights-oriented Constitution. Having lost our way, perhaps the common law, in its original sense, provides a way back, a viable alternative to the debilitating relativism of our current age.".
Author: Richard Bellamy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2007-09-13
Genre: Political Science
Judicial review by constitutional courts is often presented as a necessary supplement to democracy. This book questions its effectiveness and legitimacy. Drawing on the republican tradition, Richard Bellamy argues that the democratic mechanisms of open elections between competing parties and decision-making by majority rule offer superior and sufficient methods for upholding rights and the rule of law. The absence of popular accountability renders judicial review a form of arbitrary rule which lacks the incentive structure democracy provides to ensure rulers treat the ruled with equal concern and respect. Rights based judicial review undermines the constitutionality of democracy. Its counter-majoritarian bias promotes privileged against unprivileged minorities, while its legalism and focus on individual cases distort public debate. Rather than constraining democracy with written constitutions and greater judicial oversight, attention should be paid to improving democratic processes through such measures as reformed electoral systems and enhanced parliamentary scrutiny.
Author: Benjamin Nathan Cardozo
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 1922
In this famous treatise, a Supreme Court Justice describes the conscious and unconscious processes by which a judge decides a case. He discusses the sources of information to which he appeals for guidance and analyzes the contribution that considerations of precedent, logical consistency, custom, social welfare, and standards of justice and morals have in shaping his decisions.
Author: Jack M. Balkin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2011-11-29
Originalism and living constitutionalism, often seen as opposing views, are not in conflict. So argues Jack Balkin, a leading constitutional scholar, in this long-awaited book. Step by step, Balkin shows how both liberals and conservatives play important roles in constitutional construction, and offers a way past the angry polemics of our era.
Author: Peter Gerangelos
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2009-04-10
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).
Author: John Finnis
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2011-04-07
First published in 1980, Natural Law and Natural Rights is widely heralded as a seminal contribution to the philosophy of law, and an authoritative restatement of natural law doctrine. It has offered generations of students and other readers a thorough grounding in the central issues of legal, moral, and political philosophy from Finnis's distinctive perspective. This new edition includes a substantial postscript by the author, in which he responds to thirty years of discussion, criticism and further work in the field to develop and refine the original theory. The book closely integrates the philosophy of law with ethics, social theory and political philosophy. The author develops a sustained and substantive argument; it is not a review of other people's arguments but makes frequent illustrative and critical reference to classical, modern, and contemporary writers in ethics, social and political theory, and jurisprudence. The preliminary First Part reviews a century of analytical jurisprudence to illustrate the dependence of every descriptive social science upon evaluations by the theorist. A fully critical basis for such evaluations is a theory of natural law. Standard contemporary objections to natural law theory are reviewed and shown to rest on serious misunderstandings. The Second Part develops in ten carefully structured chapters an account of: basic human goods and basic requirements of practical reasonableness, community and 'the common good'; justice; the logical structure of rights-talk; the bases of human rights, their specification and their limits; authority, and the formation of authoritative rules by non-authoritative persons and procedures; law, the Rule of Law, and the derivation of laws from the principles of practical reasonableness; the complex relation between legal and moral obligation; and the practical and theoretical problems created by unjust laws. A final Part develops a vigorous argument about the relation between 'natural law', 'natural theology' and 'revelation' - between moral concern and other ultimate questions.
Author: Aharon Barak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2009-01-10
Whether examining election outcomes, the legal status of terrorism suspects, or if (or how) people can be sentenced to death, a judge in a modern democracy assumes a role that raises some of the most contentious political issues of our day. But do judges even have a role beyond deciding the disputes before them under law? What are the criteria for judging the justices who write opinions for the United States Supreme Court or constitutional courts in other democracies? These are the questions that one of the world's foremost judges and legal theorists, Aharon Barak, poses in this book. In fluent prose, Barak sets forth a powerful vision of the role of the judge. He argues that this role comprises two central elements beyond dispute resolution: bridging the gap between the law and society, and protecting the constitution and democracy. The former involves balancing the need to adapt the law to social change against the need for stability; the latter, judges' ultimate accountability, not to public opinion or to politicians, but to the "internal morality" of democracy. Barak's vigorous support of "purposive interpretation" (interpreting legal texts--for example, statutes and constitutions--in light of their purpose) contrasts sharply with the influential "originalism" advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As he explores these questions, Barak also traces how supreme courts in major democracies have evolved since World War II, and he guides us through many of his own decisions to show how he has tried to put these principles into action, even under the burden of judging on terrorism.
Author: Alon Harel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2014-04
Why Law Matters argues that public institutions and legal procedures are valuable and matter as such, irrespective of their instrumental value. Examining the value of rights, public institutions, and constitutional review, the book criticises instrumentalist approaches in political theory, claiming they fail to account for their enduring appeal.
Author: Jeffrey Goldsworthy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2010-07-22
This book has four main themes: (1) a criticism of 'common law constitutionalism', the theory that Parliament's authority is conferred by, and therefore is or can be made subordinate to, judge-made common law; (2) an analysis of Parliament's ability to abdicate, limit or regulate the exercise of its own authority, including a revision of Dicey's conception of sovereignty, a repudiation of the doctrine of implied repeal and the proposal of a novel theory of 'manner and form' requirements for law-making; (3) an examination of the relationship between parliamentary sovereignty and statutory interpretation, defending the reality of legislative intentions, and their indispensability to sensible interpretation and respect for parliamentary sovereignty; and (4) an assessment of the compatibility of parliamentary sovereignty with recent constitutional developments, including the expansion of judicial review of administrative action, the Human Rights and European Communities Acts and the growing recognition of 'constitutional principles' and 'constitutional statutes'.