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The King Can Do No Wrong: Constitutional Fundamentals, Common Law History, and Crown Liability

ISBN13: 9780198886914
To be Published: May 2024
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £110.00

'The king can do no wrong' remains one of the most fundamental yet misunderstood tenets of the common law tradition. Confusion over the phrase's historical origins and differing meanings has had serious consequences, making it easier for the state to escape liability for the harm caused to individuals by governmental officials or institutions.

In the first dedicated monograph on the topic, Marie France-Fortin traces the historical evolution of 'the king can do no wrong' in constitutional and public law to shed new light on our current understanding of crown liability. The different meanings conveyed by the phrase in the common law world are clarified; the contradictions between them revealed. Adopting a historical constitutional approach, the book delves deep into traditional legal sources to develop an intellectual history of this key legal idea. It explains the mutation from 'the king can do no wrong' to 'the crown can do no wrong' at the end of the nineteenth century, analyzing the resulting departure from core tenets of the constitutional arrangement of the seventeenth century. The study of the evolution of 'the king can do no wrong' in English legal thinking, mirrored in Canada, is complemented by a comparative analysis of the idea in Australia, Ireland, and the United States, where its relationship with the concept of sovereign immunity is scrutinized.

Retracing the evolution of the king can do no wrong in legal thinking, this book enhances academics', students', practitioners', and judges' understanding of the law of governmental liability in the common law world.

Constitutional and Administrative Law, Legal History
1:Understandings of the King Can Do No Wrong in Legal Thinking and Heuristic Model of Crown Liability
2:The King Can Do No Wrong in the Late Medieval and Tudor Periods
3:The King Can Do No Wrong during the Constitutional Struggles of the Seventeenth Century
4:Understandings of the King Can Do No Wrong in Legal Thinking in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
5:Revisiting and Understanding Crown Liability from a Historical Constitutional Perspective
6:The King Can Do No Wrong's Travels and Travails Across the Common Law World