By John E. Finn

ISBN-10: 0195057384

ISBN-13: 9780195057386

During this compelling learn, which unites the fields of constitutional idea and comparative politics, John E. Finn examines how the efforts of 2 western liberal democracies, the uk and the Federal Republic of Germany, to deal with household terrorism threatens their constitutional integrity. Finn argues first that common political violence demanding situations the presuppositions of constitutional authority in any liberal democracy, particularly that cause and deliberation, and never ardour or will, could be the root of political neighborhood. Terrorism hence constitutes either a selected form of constitutional emergency and a problem to the extra normal company of constitutional upkeep. He then proceeds to study the efforts of the uk and Germany to regulate political violence via emergency laws, and considers to what volume such measures comport with the calls for of constitutionalism and the guideline of legislations.

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Constitutional Maintenance and Constitutional Crises 19 Whatever the internal difficulties in Schlesinger's argument, one might object to the entire enterprise. 26 Crises are crises just because they cannot be subsumed under a constitutional norm—a point Schmitt insisted upon in his famous debate with Hans Kelsen over who should be considered the "defender" of the Weimar Constitution. "28 The conditions that give rise to extraordinary action in the first place will invariably force departures from Schlesinger's restraints as well as those proposed by anyone else.

And it will not do to dismiss such talk as frivolous or specious, for as my case studies of Northern Ireland and the Federal Republic of Germany shall make clear, the language of dignity frequently appears in efforts at constitutional maintenance. Hence despite their controversial character, appeals to human dignity are a common, legitimate, and integral form of constitutional discourse in times of crisis. Nor am I certain that its imprecision renders the concept of dignity meaningless even as a legal standard except insofar as we hope to cabin emergency powers through substantive limitations.

Yet few would be so foolhardy as to suggest that the workings of crisis government, particularly the flow of power to the executive, do not effect some permanent change in the ordinary patterns of constitutional governments. 38 Moreover, the inability of particular constitutions to cope with crises of seemingly endless duration is an argument in favor of frankly acknowledging the inadequacy of current constitutional arrangements. 22 Legal Control of Political Violence sion is a sensible answer to the wrong question.

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Constitutions in Crisis: Political Violence and the Rule of Law by John E. Finn


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