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Cover International Law

Vaughan Lowe

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. International Law is both an introduction to the subject and a critical consideration of its central themes and debates. The opening chapters of the volume explain how international law underpins the international political and economic system by establishing the basic principle of the independence of States, and their right to choose their own political, economic, and cultural systems. Subsequent chapters then focus on considerations that limit national freedom of choice (e.g. human rights, the interconnected global economy, the environment). Through the organizing concepts of territory, sovereignty, and jurisdiction the text shows how international law seeks to achieve an established set of principles according to which the power to make and enforce policies is distributed among States.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

2. The Constitutional Rulebook  

This chapter looks at the constitution of the United Kingdom to understand its function as a rulebook: for constitutional arrangements to work well, people need to know what the rules are and there also needs to be broad consensus that the rules are right. It explores the sources of the rules in the United Kingdom’s famously ‘unwritten’ constitution: these include Acts of Parliament, the common law, and constitutional conventions. It also considers the question: who makes the rulebook? To answer this, we must listen to a debate about the respective roles of politicians and judges (called ‘political constitutionalism’ and ‘common law’ or ‘legal’ constitutionalism).

Chapter

Cover Public Law

2. The Constitutional Rulebook  

This chapter looks at the constitution of the United Kingdom to understand its function as a rulebook: for constitutional arrangements to work well, people need to know what the rules are and there also needs to be broad consensus that the rules are right. It explores the sources of the rules in the United Kingdom’s famously ‘unwritten’ constitution: these include Acts of Parliament, the common law, and constitutional conventions. It also considers the question: who makes the rulebook? To answer this, we must listen to a debate about the respective roles of politicians and judges (called ‘political constitutionalism’ and ‘common law’ or ‘legal’ constitutionalism).