This book has been written for students undertaking legal studies at undergraduate level
and those pursuing similar courses which include constitutional and administrative law
as a core component (e.g. the Postgraduate Diploma in Law). It is based on over thirty
years’ experience of teaching the subject on A-level, undergraduate and postgraduate
courses. Particular attention has been paid to the views of students concerning the
strengths and weaknesses of pre-existing textbooks in this discipline....
The aims of this edition remain the same as those of previous editions: namely,
to explain and discuss critically the general principles of the constitutional
law and administrative law of the UK and to identify their historical and
political foundations. This edition has been recast and substantially rewritten
and expanded in order to take account of major changes in the law, notably
the burgeoning case law generated by the Human Rights Act 1998, and to
consider recent scholarship and political developments.
This is a short book, but it took a long time to write. In two previous books, Beyond
All Reason and Desperately Seeking Certainty, we criticized some currently popular
theories like originalism, the view (held by many conservative constitutional
scholars) that the Constitution’s meaning is fi xed by the history of its creation.
We also criticized theories of leading scholars at the other end of the ideological
My previous work, Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme
Court, 1936-1961 (Oxford University Press, 1994), examines Marshall's legal
career before his appointment to the federal bench in 1961. The first chapter of
this book describes Marshall's route to the Supreme Court from 1961 to 1967. The
remainder of the book uses Marshall's experience on the Supreme Court as a
vehicle for examining the Court as a whole during his tenure.
The island of Venice has been sinking perceptibly for centuries, but recent news is that
global warming is likely to accelerate the cataclysm that will take the city below a viable
water level in the lagoon. A possible parallel may be drawn with the unwritten British
constitution that some reformers have long been threatening to abandon, but which
continues to be the basis of a rather unusual system of government, one that is often
visited and sometimes admired by constitutional tourists from other countries.