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Law, Liberty, and Justice

T. R. S. Allan

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259916
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682025 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259916.001.0001

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Law, Liberty, and Justice

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This book makes a fresh appraisal of the main principles of constitutional law, seeking to stimulate renewed debate about the fundamentals of British constitutionalism. Rejecting a purely formal concept of the rule of law, the book argues that public law should more fully and openly reflect the principles of liberty and justice which constitute the underlying point and substance of the rule of law. The connection between law and justice is ultimately secured by the primary role of the individual conscience in making judgements about what the law requires. And just as no court is ever an infallible arbiter of legal obligation — the individual may sometimes have to stand by his own conscientious reading of the law — Parliament cannot be accorded unqualified authority to change the law. The sovereignty of Parliament is necessarily limited by residual principles of liberal constitutionalism; any other view would contradict the rule of law. Standard comparisons between written and unwritten constitutions, and traditional accounts of the separation of powers, obscure more than they reveal. The interpretation and application of statutes must always be a matter of judicial deliberation and judgement, just as the application of government policies and administrative orders is ultimately subject to the requirements of justice in particular cases.

Keywords: constitutional law; British constitutionalism; rule of law; public law; liberty; justice; individual conscience; Parliament; sovereignty; liberal constitutionalism

Book.  316 pages. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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Table of Contents

British Constitutionalism in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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The Rule of Law in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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Legislation and the Common Law in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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Constitutional Rights and Common Law in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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Equality in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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The Limits of Public Law in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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Law, Convention, and Prerogative in Law, Liberty, and Justice

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