British Constitutionalism

T. R. S. Allan

in Law, Liberty, and Justice

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259916
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682025 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

British Constitutionalism

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Dicey's dogmatic distinction between law and convention, for all its continuing influence on public lawyers, is only another manifestation of the positivist outlook responsible for the rule of parliamentary omnipotence. This book attempts to defend a different Dicey — the constitutional theorist struggling to escape the shackles of the Hobbesian authoritarianism he learned from Lord Atkin. It holds that Dicey's doctrine of law seems a better starting point than parliamentary sovereignty for the analysis in this book. It seeks to understand constitutional doctrine as a reflection of the underlying political ideal of the rule of law. In trying to explain the meaning of the rule of law as a constitutional principle, and explore its implications for British public law, this book mixes public law and legal and political theory.

Keywords: Dicey; William Blackstone; common law constitution; F. A. Hayek; Ronald Dworkin; legal positivism

Chapter.  8801 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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