Why UK public lawyers need to be legal and political theorists
Lakin, S. (2012) Why UK public lawyers need to be legal and political theorists. Durham Law Review.
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My aim in this article is to encourage UK public lawyers to engage with contemporary debates in legal, political and constitutional theory. My argument is motivated by three related concerns. First, there is an extricable link between these disciplines: behind every proposition of public law can be found a theory of law, govenment, the state and so on; secondly, public lawyers have historically neglected or fudged theory in their work; finally, a growing number of public lawyers are now using cutting-edge legal and political theories to fashion radical new understandings of the British constitution: other (more conservative-minded) public lawyers have no option, I argue, but to answer these new challenges. I illustrate my argument with reference to debates about Parliamentary sovereignty, the constitutional foundations of judicial review, political constitutionalism, and judicial deference.