Raina, Peter (ed.)
A.V. Dicey: General Characteristics of English Constitutionalism
Six Unpublished Lectures
With a Foreword by Lord Plant of Highfield
Year of Publication: 2009
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. 180 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-955-4 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.450 kg, 0.992 lbs
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Albert Venn Dicey (1835-1922) was elected to the Vinerian professorship of English Law in the University of Oxford in 1882. Dicey established himself as a great expert on constitutional history when in 1885 he published his Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, a major classic on the British constitutional system. Dicey's writings have achieved an almost canonical status, and his views are judged almost entirely on this volume. However Dicey developed his views further and extensively in a series of lectures he delivered in the late 1890s in which he focused his thoughts on the sovereignty of Parliament, the relationship between Parliament and the people, and the role of constitutional conventions. Dicey would not defend every detail of the British Constitution, but was quite prepared to consider certain constitutional innovations, such as the principle of referendum to give special status to Constitutional Acts, or that the House of Lords should have more representative legitimacy. Dicey also toyed with the idea of a Constitutional Convention as a basic form of protection for constitutional rules: he argued about constitutional safeguards to remedy the defects of the party system and recognised the adaptability of an unwritten constitution to changed circumstances. All these aspects of Dicey's thought are reflected in these lectures, published here for the first time.
Contents: Foreword by Lord Plant of Highfield - Memorandum on English Party System of Government - General Characteristics of Existing English Constitutionalism - Comparison between English & other Executives: Parliamentary & non-Parliamentary Executives - Cromwellian Constitution of 1653 - English Constitutionalism under George the Third (1785) - Memorandum on Party Government.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Editor: Peter Raina was a Research Fellow of the Osteuropa-Institut, Free University, Berlin. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Centre of International Studies, Faculty of History, Cambridge University, and at the Centre for International Studies, LSE, Research Associate at St Catherine's College, Oxford, Senior Research Associate at Balliol College, Oxford, and Honorary Member of the High Table at Christ Church, Oxford. He is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and a Knight Companion Grand Cross of the Order of St Stanislas (PL).