Constraints on Power: Fundamental Rights

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

 Constraints on Power: Fundamental Rights

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the background to and evolution of the idea that there must be recognition of fundamental rights that no government can legitimately overthrow or undermine. It then considers the level of institutionalization such rights have achieved in the contemporary world. Finally, it returns to the question — Where is the line to fall between judicial and executive responsibilities? — and the doubt expressed about the desirability of institutionalizing fundamental rights in certain ways.

Keywords: institutionalization of rights; government rights; power

Chapter.  9835 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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