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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Drafting Commercial Agreements

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Democracy by Decree

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Ross SandlerProfessor of Law and Director, Center for New York City Law, New York Law School, USA, David SchoenbrodProfessor, New York Law School, USA

ISBN13: 9780300092721
ISBN: 0300092725
Published: January 2003
Publisher: Yale University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

Schools, welfare agencies, and a wide variety of other state and local institutions of vital importance to US citizens are actually controlled by attorneys and judges rather than governors and mayors. In this text, Ross Sandler and David Schoenbrod explain how this has come to pass, why it has resulted in service to the public that is worse, not better, and what can be done to restore control of these programmes to democratically elected, and accountable, officials.;Sandler and Schoenbrod tell how the courts, with the best intentions and often with the approval of elected officials, came to control ordinary policy making through court decrees. These court regimes, they assert, impose rigid and often ancient detailed plans that can flounder on reality. Newly elected officials, who may wish to alter the plans in response to the changing wishes of voters, cannot do so unless attorneys, court-appointed functionaries and lower-echelon officials agree. The result is neither judicial government nor good government, say Sandler and Schoenbrod, and they offer practical reforms that would set governments free from this judicial stranglehold, allow courts to do their legitimate job of protecting rights, and strengthen democracy.

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