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Vanderbilt University Law School

Judicial review

Constitutional Law

Journal

2003

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Full-Text Articles in Law

From Unwritten To Written: Transformation In The British Common-Law Constitution, David Jenkins Jan 2003

From Unwritten To Written: Transformation In The British Common-Law Constitution, David Jenkins

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

This Article posits that the British Constitution is changing by incorporating written principles that restrain Parliament through judicial review. The Author asserts that this constitutional model has basis in the common law and the orthodox theories of Blackstone and Dicey. In addition, the "ultra vires" doctrine supports the model and provides a basis for judicial review of Parliament. As constitutions may accommodate written and unwritten elements of law, as well as various means of enforcement and change, the Author posits that constitutions are defined by how strongly they reflect underlying legal norms. With a shift in the rule of recognition …