Powers and Public Law: Law and Politics

Neil MacCormick

in Institutions of Law

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780198267911
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191714832 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

 Powers and Public Law: Law and Politics

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  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


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This chapter discusses powers in public law, and the distinctive character of public as against private power, leading into a discussion of the interface between public law and politics. It argues that law and politics are certainly not and cannot possibly be opaque to each other. Mutual respect for the difference of roles in a constitutional regime of separated but mutually interactive powers is not only (in a trivial sense) essential to the security of such a regime; it is essential to a well-secured rule of law. The conceptual difference must be fully acknowledged between law as a normative order of right and wrong versus politics as a domain of statecraft guided by considerations of prudence.

Keywords: public powers; judicial impartiality; political power

Chapter.  7771 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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