The Constitutional and Legal Framework of Policy-Making

Peter Cane

in The Golden Metwand and the Crooked Cord

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198264699
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682766 | DOI:
The Constitutional and Legal Framework of Policy-Making

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The relationship between law and policy is a multi-faceted and complex one. This chapter is concerned with one aspect of that relationship, namely the extent to which the policy-making process — which culminates in the enactment of primary and secondary legislation — is and ought to be regulated by law. The goal is to lay a normative foundation for thinking about constitutional and legal regulation of policy-making in the pre-legislative process. The underlying assumption is that we need to develop a constitutional theory of policy-making in the pre-legislative process in order to be able to approach the question of legal regulation of that process in a principled way. It is argued that the government is (or ought to be) under a constitutional obligation to advertise legislative proposals widely and to allow all interested groups to express their views on those proposals in an open, non-secretive environment. Constitutionally, the chapter focuses on the United Kingdom; institutionally, on central government; and legally, on England. The theoretical discussion, therefore, deals primarily with Westminster-style systems of government characterized by a high degree of integration of the legislature and the executive.

Keywords: administrative law; policy; law-making; pre-legislative process; constitutional theory

Chapter.  11400 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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