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The Separation of Powers in the Contemporary Constitution
Judicial Competence and Independence in the United Kingdom


  • Date Published: December 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521493376

£ 79.99

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About the Authors
  • In this 2010 book, Roger Masterman examines the dividing lines between the powers of the judicial branch of government and those of the executive and legislative branches in the light of two of the most significant constitutional reforms of recent years: the Human Rights Act (1998) and Constitutional Reform Act (2005). Both statutes have implications for the separation of powers within the United Kingdom constitution. The Human Rights Act brings the judges into much closer proximity with the decisions of political actors than previously permitted by the Wednesbury standard of review and the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, while the Constitutional Reform Act marks the emergence of an institutionally independent judicial branch. Taken together, the two legislative schemes form the backbone of a more comprehensive system of constitutional checks and balances policed by a judicial branch underpinned by the legitimacy of institutional independence.

    • Examines the constitutional dividing lines between judicial, executive and legislative powers in the UK constitution
    • Examines the theory and practice of the Human Rights Act (1998) and the institutional reforms prompted by the Constitutional Reform Act (2005) from a separation-of-powers perspective
    • Argues that the contemporary separation of powers possesses characteristics which will survive the mooted repeal and/or amendment of the Human Rights Act
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Roger Masterman, of the law faculty at Durham, has produced an erudite treatise in the finest tradition of English legal scholarship, and one that, despite its thorough and detailed grounding in the intricacies of legal materials, should be perused by political scientists. (The notes alone, in fact, are a treasure trove).' Jerold Waltman, British Politics Group Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521493376
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A doctrine of uncertain scope and application
    2. The Human Rights Act 1998 and the separation of powers
    3. The Strasbourg influence
    4. Justiciability
    5. Deference and proportionality
    6. Statutory interpretation and declarations of incompatibility
    7. Developing the common law and the meaning of 'the convention rights'
    8. The independence of the judiciary
    9. Towards constitutional separation.

  • Author

    Roger Masterman, University of Durham
    Roger Masterman is Senior Lecturer in Law at Durham Law School, where his teaching and research interests lie in the area of constitutional law and reform.

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