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Chapter

Cover Public Law

7. Introduction to Executive Functions  

This chapter provides an overview of the themes covered in Part II of the book, consisting of Chapters 8–10. It addresses the following questions: What is the executive function? Broadly, this can be defined as the powers of government to decide issues of policy, to raise and spend public money, and to implement decisions. What is the role of a constitution in relation to executive functions? Generally, we can say that constitutions have a dual role: they enable executive action (by providing institutional and procedural frameworks for decision-making) and they also constrain it (to ensure that it stays within what is permitted by law and to make governments accountable for their actions). It then summarizes the basic constitutional and legal aspects of the various executive bodies considered in the Chapter.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

4. Local and Devolved Government  

Sir William Wade and Christopher Forsyth

This chapter begins with a discussion of various aspects of local government including its historical development, principal functions, operations and proceedings, revenues, audit system, and central influence and control. It then describes the legal status and responsibilities of the police force and self-government in Scotland and Wales.

Chapter

Cover Wade & Forsyth's Administrative Law

4. Local and Devolved Government  

Sir William Wade, Christopher Forsyth, and Julian Ghosh

This chapter begins with a discussion of various aspects of local government including its historical development, principal functions, operations and proceedings, revenues, audit system and central influence and control. It then describes the legal status and responsibilities of the police force and self-government in Scotland and Wales.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

6. Multilevel Governing Within the United Kingdom  

This chapter examines multilevel governing within the UK. It is organized around three levels of governing: national, regional, and local. For most of the twentieth century, Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) formed a centralized political unit, with policymaking and law-making being led by the UK government and the UK Parliament. There was devolved government in Northern Ireland from 1922, but this was brought to an end by the UK government in 1972 amid mounting civil unrest and paramilitary violence. At the local level, there are more than 400 local authorities throughout the United Kingdom. These vary considerably in size, both in terms of their territorial area that they cover and their populations.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

8. Devolution and The Territorial Constitution  

This chapter focuses on the UK’s territorial constitution, that is, the governance arrangements that result in power being dispersed rather than concentrated in a single set of national institutions. Devolution involved creating new governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, and investing them with powers that were previously exercised at a UK level. Devolution in the UK is therefore intended to be part of the answer to questions that must be confronted in all political systems: where should governmental power lie? And at what level should laws be enacted and the business of government transacted? Local government plays a key role in decision-making, policy formulation, and the delivery of public services across a wide range of areas, including education, housing, personal social services, transport, and planning control.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

4. How the UK is organised  

This chapter details how power is allocated in the UK, and its organisation in terms of devolution and regional and local government. Power in the UK is divided into three branches or arms of state: legislature (law-makers), executive (government and administration), and judiciary (courts and judges). Before devolution, the government’s (executive’s) administrative power was centralised and it extended to the whole of the UK, but devolution has made significant changes to the constitution and has brought a substantial rebalancing of power in the government of the UK. Since devolution’s introduction, the power of central government no longer extends to the growing areas of domestic policy that have been devolved to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The UK government’s remit therefore now covers England and the whole of the UK on non-devolved matters including the conduct of foreign affairs, defence, national security, and oversight of the Civil Service and government agencies.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

6. Multilevel Governing Within the United Kingdom  

This chapter examines multilevel governing within the UK. It is organized around three levels of governing: national, regional, and local. For most of the twentieth century, mainland Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) formed a centralized political unit, with policy-making and law-making being led by the UK government and the UK Parliament. There was devolved government in Northern Ireland from 1922, but this was ended by the UK government in 1972 amid mounting civil unrest and paramilitary violence. At the local level, there are 382 principal councils (unitary, upper, and second tier) throughout the United Kingdom. These vary considerably in size, both in terms of their territorial area that they cover and their populations. This chapter discusses how the introduction of devolved government in 1998 has altered the governance arrangements in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It also examines how devolution affects the territorial constitution, (see Section 6.4), intergovernmental relations with Westminster (see Section 6.5), and the governance of England (see Section 6.6).

Chapter

Cover Public Law

4. The Rule of Law  

This chapter explains ‘the rule of law’. It first looks at the controversy over how to define the principle. Some experts argue that it should be ‘content-free’, dealing only with the form of law and the procedures by which law is made. Others favour a ‘content-rich’ meaning, so that the substance of laws should have to comply with fundamental rights. The chapter then examines the practical protection of the rule of law. In Britain, all three of the major branches of the state have functions in the development and application of rule of law principles. Judges use various approaches to protect the rule of law when adjudicating on cases. Parliament can enact legislation designed to safeguard the rule of law, though the principle of parliamentary supremacy means that legislation passed by Parliament that infringes the rule of law is not challengeable in the courts. Within government, various office-holders are responsible for ensuring respect for the rule of law.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

1. Administration and the principles of the constitution  

Administrative law includes a complex variety of processes and doctrines that confer and control public power. This chapter outlines the underlying principles of administrative law. Topics discussed include the core principle of administrative law: opposition to arbitrary use of power. That principle is introduced through the story of habeas corpus from the middle ages to the twenty-first century. The constitutional principles of administrative law also include parliamentary sovereignty, the separation of powers, the rule of law, comity among constitutional authorities, accountability, and a newly emerging principle of open government. The chapter shows how the common law and legislation can achieve adherence to these principles of administrative law.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

10. Good Governance—An Introduction  

This chapter explains the meaning of good governance and why it is important to uphold the standards of good governance, first discussing the standards of good governance, which include governing in the public interest; governing transparently; respecting the dignity, rights, and interests of individuals; and governing competently. It then turns to the concept and types of accountability, covering political accountability, legal accountability, and administrative accountability and audit.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

18. Inquiries  

This chapter, which examines the nature, function, and legal framework of inquiries, also discusses the inquiry process and the effectiveness of inquiries. Inquiries have been widely criticised due to their chequered history—one that has been characterised by lengthy proceedings, high costs, and reports which have sometimes met with public dissension over the correctness of the conclusions reached or indifference from the government. They are also accused of being susceptible to manipulation by the government for its own political ends. Nevertheless, inquiries are an important mechanism for undertaking a detailed investigation into an issue of public concern and for holding government accountable.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

7. Central government  

This chapter examines the structure and role of central government, with the latter part focusing on the key constitutional requirement that the government is accountable to the people through Parliament, reflecting the democratic nature of the constitution. The phrase ‘central government’ refers to the Prime Minister, Cabinet, ministers, government departments, and civil servants. Informally, these parts of central government are often referred to as ‘Whitehall’, reflecting how most government departments and the Prime Minister are based around that area of central London close to Westminster. A more constitutionally appropriate phrase is the ‘executive’. However, this term can also be taken to mean other elements which include the governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as well as local government and organizations such as the police.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

4. The Rule of Law  

This chapter explains ‘the rule of law’. It first presents a definition of the rule of law followed by a discussion of the practical protection of the rule of law. In Britain, all three of the major branches of the state — the judiciary, Parliament, and government (especially through the office of Lord Chancellor) — have functions in the development and application of rule of law principles.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, before the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutional convention of collective Cabinet responsibility which requires, inter alia, that Cabinet discussions remain secret, whether the publication of a diary detailing Cabinet discussions breached the convention, and what the constitutional consequences of any breach were. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, before the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutional convention of collective Cabinet responsibility which requires, inter alia, that Cabinet discussions remain secret, whether the publication of a diary detailing Cabinet discussions breached the convention, and what the constitutional consequences of any breach were. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

6. Recognition of states and governments  

This chapter begins with a discussion of the ‘declaratory’ and ‘constitutive’ views of recognition. According to the declaratory view, the legal effects of recognition are limited: recognition is a declaration or acknowledgement of an existing state of law and fact, legal personality having been conferred previously by operation of law. The declaratory theory of recognition is opposed to the constitutive view, according to which the political act of recognition is a precondition of the existence of legal rights: in its extreme form this implies that the very personality of a state depends on the political decision of other states. Discussion then turns to the distinction between recognition of states and recognition of governments, collective non-recognition and sanctions, and issues of recognition before national courts.

Chapter

Cover Civil Liberties & Human Rights

10. Terrorism and Human Rights  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter first considers the definition of ‘terrorism’. It then turns to laws which the UK government has put in place to attempt to deal with this area, including proscription of organizations, modification of police powers, and various forms of restrictions on movement, including ‘control orders’ and their successors — terrorism prevention and investigation measures.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

13. Substantive Grounds of Judicial Review  

This chapter discusses the substantive grounds of judicial review: illegality, irrationality, and proportionality. Illegality covers the following: excess of power; the relevant/irrelevant considerations doctrine; unlawful delegation of power; unlawful fettering of power; and the estoppel doctrine. Irrationality is also concerned with the substantive content of a government decision, but focuses on the political or moral rather than (in the strict sense) legal character of the decision. Proportionality review can be defined as a constitutional device that requires the courts to accept that the boundaries of moral consensus within which government bodies are confined are discernibly less broad in substantive terms than those that apply in respect of irrationality-based review.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Concentrate

7. The monarchy and the Royal Prerogative  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. The UK is a constitutional monarchy: the monarch exercises their legal powers as part of a system of government which is parliamentary and democratic. The chapter discusses the legal source of the monarch’s powers as head of state which is the Royal Prerogative exercised in accordance with binding political rules and practices. The chapter also covers the monarch’s role within the executive. This chapter discusses the special privileges and immunities of the monarch; the powers and duties of the monarch; and the monarch and the organs and functions of government.

Book

Cover European Union Law

Robert Schütze

European Union Law uses a distinctive three-part structure to examine the constitutional foundations, legal powers, and substantive law of the European Union. This third edition includes an updated dedicated chapter on the past, present, and future of Brexit. Part I looks at the constitutional foundations including a constitutional history and an examination of the governmental structure of the European Union. Part II looks at governmental powers. It covers legislative, external, executive, judicial, and limiting powers. The final part considers substantive law. It starts off by examining the free movement of goods, services, and persons. It then turns to competition law and finally ends with an analysis of internal and external policies.