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Human Rights, Constitutional Law and the Development of the English Legal System

Selected Essays

By: Derry Irvine
Media of Human Rights, Constitutional Law and the Development of the English Legal System
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Published: 22-12-2003
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 391
ISBN: 9781841134116
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £55.00
Online price : £49.50
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About Human Rights, Constitutional Law and the Development of the English Legal System

This is a selection of Lord Irvine's major lectures and articles since 1995. It surveys the constitutional revolution that has taken place in Britain since the Labour Government came to power in 1997, taking in devolution and House of Lords reform, but with a particular focus on human rights. The evolution of a new human rights culture is traced, from the policy underlying the Human Rights Act 1998, through the scheme of the legislation and the preparations for implementation, to an analysis of the impact of the Act during its first two years. The work is of particular interest because Lord Irvine chaired the four main Cabinet Committees on constitutional change and introduced the Human Rights Bill to Parliament.

Lord Irvine also considers the development and practice of public and administrative law, and the constitutional role of the British judiciary and the Lord Chancellor within our unique separation of powers. Alongside forays into criminal, commercial, and medical law, the collection also embraces an international perspective, with essays on the influence in Britain of european law; comparative analyses of key aspects of English, American and French jurisprudence; and a discussion of the continuing relevance of Magna Carta in Britain and Australia.

This collection is a timely contribution to the debate on human rights, constitutional law and the English legal system at the turn of the new millennium, and will be of interest to judges, academics, practitioners and students.

Table Of Contents

Part 1: Human Rights and Constitutional Reform
1.The Philosophical Case for a Bill of Rights: A Response to Sir John Laws 1996
2.The Human Rights Bill, House of Lords 2nd Reading
3.The Development of Human Rights in Britain under an Incorporated Convention on Human Rights
4.Constitutional Change in the United Kingdom: British Solutions to Universal Problems
5.Activism and Restraint: Human Rights and the Interpretative Process
6.Britain's Programme of Constitutional Change
7.A New Constitution-A New Citizenship
8.The Impact of the Human Rights Act: Parliament, the Courts and the Executive

Part 2: Judges and the Development of English Public Law
9.Judges and Decision-Makers: The Theory and Practice of Wednesbury Review
10.Principle and Pragmatism: The Development of English Public Law under the Separation of Powers
11.The Influence of Europe on Public Law in the United Kingdom

Part 3: British and International Perspectives on Law and Constitution
12.Judicial Independence and the British Constitution
13.The Common Origins of English and American Law
14.Sovereignty in Comparative Perspective: Constitutionalism in Britain and America
15.The Spirit of Magna Carta Continues to Resonate in Modern Law
16.Legislators, Liberty and the Law: A Comparative Analysis of the French and English Legal Systems

Part 4: Miscellaneous Essays on the Development of the English Legal System
17.The Art of Advocacy and the Woolf Reforms
18.The Feasibility of a Unified Approach to Proceedings Arising Out of Major City Frauds
19.The Patient, the Doctor, their Lawyers and the Judge: Rights and Duties
20.Intention, Recklessness and Moral Blameworthiness: Reflections on the English and Australian Law of Criminal Culpability
21.The Law: An Engine for Trade


“This book is evidence of a powerful mind possessed by someone on top of his brief.” –  Michael Beloff, Telegraph

“…a good insight into the thinking of one of the New Labour Government's most influential legal reformersThis book deserves to be welcomed as a useful contribution to the literature on the evolution of the British legal system.” –  The Commonwealth Lawyer

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