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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Democracy and Legal Change

ISBN13: 9780521146579
Published: October 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback Reissue
Price: £24.99

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Since ancient Athens, democrats have taken pride in their power and inclination to change their laws, yet they have also sought to counter this capacity by creating immutable laws. In Democracy and Legal Change, Melissa Schwartzberg argues that modifying law is a fundamental and attractive democratic activity. Against those who would defend the use of ‘entrenchment clauses’ to protect key constitutional provisions from revision, Schwartzberg seeks to demonstrate historically the strategic and even unjust purposes unamendable laws have typically served, and to highlight the regrettable consequences that entrenchment may have for democracies today. Drawing on historical evidence, classical political theory, and contemporary constitutional and democratic theory, Democracy and Legal Change reexamines the relationship between democracy and the rule of law from a new, and often surprising, set of vantage points.

Constitutional and Administrative Law, Jurisprudence
1. Introduction: explaining legal change and entrenchment;
2. Innovation and democracy: legal change in ancient Athens;
3. Law reform in seventeenth-century England;
4. Fallibility and foundations in the American constitution;
5. Protecting democracy and dignity in post-war Germany;
6. Conclusion: defending democracy against entrenchment.