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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution

Edited by: Nicholas Bamforth, Peter Leyland

ISBN13: 9780199670024
Published: November 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £63.00

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Accountability is regarded as a central feature of modern constitutionalism. At a general level, this prominence is perhaps unsurprising, given the long history of the idea.

However, in many constitutional democracies, including the UK and the USA, it has acquired a particular resonance in contemporary circumstances with the declining power of social deference, the expanding reach of populist accountability mechanisms, and the increasing willingness of citizens to find mechanisms for challenging official decision-making.

These essays, by public law scholars, seek to explore how ideas of and mechanisms associated with accountability play a part in the contemporary constitution. While the majority of contributors concentrate on the United Kingdom, others provide comparative discussion with particular reference to the United States and aspects of European Union law.

The main focus of the volume is the contemporary UK constitution. Chapters are included which analyse the historical context (including the role of Dicey), common law constitutionalism, the constitutional role of Parliament, the constitutional role of the courts, judicial accountability, human rights protection under the constitution and the contribution of non-judicial accountability mechanisms.

Further chapters explore the public service principle, the impact of new public management on public service delivery, and the relationship between accountability and regulation. Finally accountability is discussed in the light of constitutional reform including the challenges posed by the 'multi-layered' government at the supra national level of EU membership and sub-national national levels of devolution and local government.

Constitutional and Administrative Law
Introduction: Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution
The Spirits of the Constitution
Judicial Accountability in Comparative Perspective
Accountability to Law
Adjudication as Accountability: A Deliberative Approach
The Instrumental Value of Legal Accountability
Accountability, Human Rights Adjudication and the Human Rights Act
Accountability and Judicial Review in the UK and EU: Central Precepts
Parliamentary Accountability and the Judicial System
Ombudsmen, Tribunals, Inquiries: Re-fashioning Accountability Beyond the Courts
Accountability of and to the Legislature
Accountability and the Foundations of British Democracy - the Public Interest and Public Service Principles
Multi-layered Constitutional Accountability and the Refinancing of Territorial Governance in the UK
Beyond New Public Management: Problems of Accountability in the Modern Administrative State
Regulatory Accountability: Capacities, Challenges, and Prospects
Legal Accountability and Social Justice