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A Theory of the Executive Branch Margit Cohn (Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

A Theory of the Executive Branch By Margit Cohn (Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Summary

This monograph offers a theoretical foundation of the executive branch in Western democracies and argues that the tension between dominance and submission is maintained by the adoption of various forms of fuzziness, under which a guise of legality masks the absence of the substantive limitation of power.

A Theory of the Executive Branch Summary

A Theory of the Executive Branch: Tension and Legality by Margit Cohn (Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The executive branch in Western democracies has been granted a virtually impossible task: expected to 'imperially' direct the life of the nation through thick and thin, it is concurrently required to be subservient to legislation meted out by a sovereign parliament. Drawing on a general argument from constitutional theory that prioritizes dispersal of power over concepts of hierarchy, this book argues that the tension between dominance and submission in the executive branch is maintained by the adoption of various forms of fuzziness, under which a guise of legality masks the absence of substantive limitation of power. Under this 'internal tension' vision of constitutionalism, the executive branch is simultaneously submissive to law and dominant over it, while concepts of substantive legality are compromised. Building on legal and political science research, this volume classifies and analyses thirteen forms of fuzziness, ranging from open-ended or semi-written constitutions to unapplied legislation. The study of this unavoidable yet problematic feature of the public sphere is addressed descriptively and normatively. Adding detailed examples from two fields of law - emergency law and air-pollution law - in two systems (the UK and the US), the book ends with a call for raising the threshold of judicial review, grounded in theories of participatory and deliberative democracy. This book addresses an area that is surprisingly under-researched. Despite the increase in executive power across democratic polities and increasing public interest in the executive branch and executive powers, this much-needed book offers a theoretical foundation that should ground all analysis of arguably the most powerful branch of modern government.

A Theory of the Executive Branch Reviews

This book is a well-researched and structured warning that the fuzziness of the law is open to exploitation and realpolitik by governments. * Lee Wall, Law Society Gazette *
The executive is central to political ordering in all states. There is nonetheless continuing contestation as to the definition of the executive, its power, and its relationship to other branches of government. Margit Cohn has developed a challenging thesis that addresses these central issues from a comparative perspective. It will be of real interest to lawyers, political scientists, and political philosophers. * Professor Paul Craig, Emeritus Professor of English Law, St John's College, Oxford *
The concept of executive power, the structures through which it is exercised, and the framework of law and practice by which it is constrained are among the most complex topics in comparative constitutional law. This important book by Margit Cohn offers a framework for understanding and analysis, drawing on a challenging comparison between the United Kingdom and the United States. Cohn brings her argument down to earth through two highly topical case studies, on emergency powers and air pollution. This is a valuable addition to the literature, which will attract close attention from others venturing into the field of executive power. * Professor Cheryl Saunders AO, Laureate Professor Emeritus, Melbourne Law School *

About Margit Cohn (Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Margit Cohn is the Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Cohn's teaching and research interests span administrative law, comparative public law, constitutional theory, law and politics, law and society, legal cultures, and judicial review.

Table of Contents

Introduction PART I: PRELIMINARIES 1: Preliminaries 2: Reaching the internal tension model 3: Maintaining the internal tension model PART II: CONSTITUTION-GENERATED FUZZY LAW 4: Unilateral, non-statutory executive powers 5: The nature and use of unilateral executive powers: a comparative analysis PART III: LEGISLATION AND EXECUTIVE-GENERATED FUZZY LAW 6: Case-studies: emergency and air pollution, overviews 7: Legislation-generated fuzziness: patchwork legislation 8: Executive-generated fuzziness: on the spectrum of (non) implementation PART IV: ANALYSIS 9: Fuzzy legality and the challenge to proper governance 10: Keeping the internal tension under check: the role of the judiciary in a multiple-fora, participatory/deliberative democracy Conclusion

Additional information

NPB9780198821984
9780198821984
0198821980
A Theory of the Executive Branch: Tension and Legality by Margit Cohn (Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Henry J. and Fannie Harkavy Chair in Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
New
Hardback
Oxford University Press
2021-02-24
352
N/A
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