A Common Law Theory of Judicial Review: The Living Tree

A Common Law Theory of Judicial Review: The Living Tree

Hardback Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law

By (author) W. J. Waluchow, Series edited by Gerald J. Postema, Series edited by Jules L. Coleman, Series edited by Antony Duff, Series edited by David Lyons, Series edited by Neil MacCormick, Series edited by Stephen R. Munzer, Series edited by Philip Pettit, Series edited by Joseph Raz, Series edited by Jeremy Waldron


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Additional formats available

Paperback $49.99
  • Format: Hardback | 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 234mm x 25mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521864763
  • ISBN 13: 9780521864763
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,666,378

Product description

In this study, W. J. Waluchow argues that debates between defenders and critics of constitutional bills of rights presuppose that constitutions are more or less rigid entities. Within such a conception, constitutions aspire to establish stable, fixed points of agreement and pre-commitment, which defenders consider to be possible and desirable, while critics deem impossible and undesirable. Drawing on reflections about the nature of law, constitutions, the common law, and what it is to be a democratic representative, Waluchow urges a different theory of bills of rights that is flexible and adaptable. Adopting such a theory enables one not only to answer to critics' most serious challenges, but also to appreciate the role that a bill of rights, interpreted and enforced by unelected judges, can sensibly play in a constitutional democracy.

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Author information

W.J. Waluchow is professor of philosophy at McMaster University in Canada. He is the author of Inclusive Legal Positivism, Free Expressions: Essays in Law and Philosophy, and The Dimensions of Ethics: An Introduction to Ethical Theory, among other titles.

Review quote

Review of the hardback: 'This book will probably come to form part of the canon of constitutional law literature, not only because it provides a sound justification for the existence of judicial review, but also because it gives a compelling orientation as to how it should be exercised.' The Cambridge Law Journal Review of the hardback: 'A thought provoking contribution to a debate of enormous importance.' Journal of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association

Table of contents

1. A charter revolution; 2. Constitutionalism; 3. Why charters?; 4. The critic's case; 5. A mixed blessing; 6. Common law constitutionalism.