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Dimensions of Dignity
The Theory and Practice of Modern Constitutional Law

£76.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law

  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107084285

£ 76.99
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  • In an age of constitutional revolutions and reforms, theory and practice are moving in opposite directions. As a matter of constitutional practice, human dignity has emerged in jurisdictions around the world as the organizing idea of a groundbreaking paradigm. By reconfiguring constitutional norms, institutional structures and legal doctrines, this paradigm transforms human dignity from a mere moral claim into a legal norm that persons have standing to vindicate. As a matter of constitutional theory, however, human dignity remains an enigmatic idea. Some explicate its meaning in abstraction from constitutional practice, while others confine themselves to less exalted ideas. The result is a chasm that separates constitutional practice from a theory capable of justifying its innovations and guiding its operation. By expounding the connection between human dignity and the constitutional practices that justify themselves in its light, Jacob Weinrib brings the theory and practice of constitutional law back together.

    • Offers a systematic exposition of human dignity, the organizing idea of contemporary constitutional jurisprudence
    • Distils the idea of human dignity into a set of normative, constitutional and doctrinal principles which explain what the abstract idea of human dignity requires with respect to ongoing controversies concerning constitutional design and adjudication
    • Illuminates and justifies post-war innovations in constitutional governance and rights protection
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Weinrib advances a scholarly, comprehensive argument for human dignity as the animating ideal of a modern constitutional system. He confronts the most prominent alternative theories of public law and justice with surgical precision, including Hart's legal positivism, Rawls's justice as fairness, Dworkin's just outcomes, and Waldron's majoritarian legitimacy, among others.' J. Farrier, CHOICE

    'It is now understood - and expertly shown by Weinrib - that constitutions that violate constitutional ideals are incoherent and unlawful …' Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Modern Law Review

    'The author must be applauded for bringing fundamental questions of legal theory to bear on our controversies about constitutionalism and judicial review. His clarity of thought and precision of language combine to make this work a real pleasure to read. In summary, it is a stimulating and accomplished achievement, making a very welcome addition to the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law. It is a work of theory that, like all good theory, draws extensively on constitutional practice - especially German and Canadian practice - by way of illustration. That well-judged combination of theory and practice enables the book to make a fine contribution to both legal and constitutional theory - if indeed these disciplines are, on the correct view of the matter, actually distinguishable.' University of Toronto Law Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107084285
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Human dignity and public law
    Part I. The Normative Dimension:
    2. Authority, justice, and public law
    3. Public authority and private violence
    4. Towards public justice
    Part II. The Constitutional Dimension:
    5. The modern constitutional state
    Part III. The Doctrinal Dimension
    6. Constitutional reform
    7. The moral structure of proportionality
    Conclusion: public law in postwar theory and practice.

  • Author

    Jacob Weinrib, New York University
    Jacob Weinrib is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen's University, Ontario. His research interests include legal theory and comparative public law.

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