Law and the Executive in Britain: A Comparative Study

Law and the Executive in Britain: A Comparative Study

Law and the Executive in Britain: A Comparative Study

Law and the Executive in Britain: A Comparative Study

Excerpt

It is now a generation since Lord Hewart launched his famous attack upon the Executive in Britain. Much has happened in the intervening two decades. American knowledge of English administrative law does not, unfortunately, go beyond The New Despotism and the reply to the Lord Chief Justice contained in the Report of the Committee on Ministers' Powers. It was out of a desire to fill the gap in American knowledge in this field that the study which culminated in this volume was undertaken.

British developments in administrative law are, I believe, of more than mere academic interest to Americans. The experience of a kindred people, who hold the same basic doctrines that we do, should be helpful in our evaluation of developments on this side of the Atlantic. The value of comparative study here is not diminished by differences--important though they may be--in the political structure of the two countries. As Sir Cecil Carr so aptly pointed out in his lectures to an American audience in 1940: "The fundamental differences between the United States and Britain in constitutional structure and in geographical scale cannot obscure the community of history and outlook. To both countries government, tolerated as an unfortunate necessity, is but the means to the end; to both countries the end is liberty."

I am indebted to many on both sides of the Atlantic for their encouragement and assistance. My chief debt is to E. C. S. Wade, Downing Professor of the Laws of England in the University of Cambridge, who read the manuscript as it was being written and made many useful suggestions. If I have avoided the pitfalls that might otherwise beset an outsider in this field, it is largely due to his assistance. I should also like to acknowledge my gratitude to Sir Cecil T. Carr and Professor A. L. Goodhart for their com-

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