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Reason, Morality, and LawThe Philosophy of John Finnis$
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John Keown and Robert P. George

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.001.0001

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Constitutional Principle in the Laws of the Commonwealth

Constitutional Principle in the Laws of the Commonwealth

(p.396) 24 Constitutional Principle in the Laws of the Commonwealth
Reason, Morality, and Law

Richard Ekins

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers John Finnis' study of the constitutional law and practice of the members of the British Commonwealth, focusing on how constitutional principles articulate and frame the deliberation and action of legal and political authorities and thus inform law and convention. It examines Finnis' reflections on the continuity of law, the residual responsibilities of institutions in former parts of an imperial whole, the theory of responsible government in the imperial polity, the distinction between nationals and aliens, and the separation of judicial and legislative power. These reflections illuminate some of the ways in which the constitution informs how the political community acts over time for the common good, as well make clear why the unity and identity of that community is itself a matter of constitutional principle.

Keywords:   constitutional law, constitutional principle, convention, continuity, political community, separation of powers, nationality

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