The Sovereignty of Parliament
History and Philosophy
By (author) Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy
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Sovereignty of Parliament by Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy
Book DescriptionThe doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty has long been regarded as the most fundamental element of the British Constitution. It holds that Parliament has unlimited legislative authority, and that the courts have no authority to judge statutes invalid. This doctrine has now been criticized on historical and philosophical grounds and critics claim that it is a relatively recent invention of academic lawyers that superseded an earlier tradition in which Parliament's authority was limited to common law. The critics also argue that it is based on a misunderstanding of the relationship between statutory and common law, and is morally indefensible. The Sovereignty of Parliament: History and Philosophy responds to these criticisms. It first defines and clarifies the concept of legislative sovereignty and then describes the historical origins and the development of the doctrine from the thirteenth to the end of the nineteenth century. Professor Goldsworthy goes on to identify many different reasons why persuaded statesmen, lawyers, and political theorists have endorsed the doctrine. He discusses the ideas of a large number of legal and political thinkers, including Fortescue, St German, Hooker, Coke, Bacon, Parker, Milton, Hobbes, Hale, Locke, Bolingbroke, Blackstone, and Burke. He shows that judges in Great Britain have never had authority to invalidate statutes, and that the doctrine is much older than is generally realized. The book concludes by dealing with philosophical criticisms of the doctrine. Combining the insights of earlier thinkers with those of contemporary legal philosophers, it demonstrates that these criticisms are based on a defective understanding of the nature and foundations of law, and of the relationship between legislative authority and the common law. It argues that the doctrine is morally defensible, and refutes the thesis that the judges have authority to modify or reject it.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199248087
(233mm x 156mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 12-Jul-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy
Parliamentary Sovereignty, Paperback (July 2010)
This book analyses and defends parliamentary sovereignty, its compatibility with recent constitutional developments, and Parliament's capacity to control its own sovereignty.
Interpreting Constitutions, Paperback (June 2007)
Describes the constitutions of six major federations and how they have been interpreted by their highest courts. This study compares the interpretive methods that have guided the courts, and explores the reasons for major differences between these methods, looking to the different social, historical, institutional and political circumstances.
Protecting Human Rights, Hardback (October 2003)
What should and what should not to be counted as a human right? What does it mean to identify a right as a human right? And what are the most effective and legitimate means of promoting human rights? This book addresses these questions and the complex relationship between the answers to them.
Sovereignty of Parliament, Hardback (July 1999)» View all books by Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy
In British constitutional law, the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty maintains that Parliament has unlimited legislative authority. Critics have recently challenged this doctrine, on historical and philosophical grounds. This book describes its historical origins and development.
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Author Biography - Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy
Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy is Professor of Law at Monash University, Australia
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