The High Court of Parliament and Its Supremacy: An Historical Essay on the Boundaries between Legislation and Adjudication in England

By Charles Howard McLlwain | Go to book overview

Preface

D R. Augustus Jessopp, in the Preface to his Studies by a Recluse, says: "Three years ago I published a collection of papers which I had the presumption to call Historic Essays, in which some of the critics discovered, as a matter of course, a bad blunder or two, and therefore proceeded to censure me for presumption. The fact is, that I was still possessed by the old- fashioned notion that the word 'essay' meant an attempt and nothing more." It is only in this old-fashioned sense that I have ventured to call this volume an "essay." In it I have concerned myself only in tracing the history of certain legal ideas. The conclusions that have seemed to me to be deducible from the facts met with in this historical survey may be summarized as follows:

(a) England after the Norman Conquest was a feudal state, i. e., its political character is better expressed by the word feudal than by the word national. (b) As a consequence, her central assembly was a feudal assembly, with the general characteristics of feudal assemblies. (c) One of those characteristics was the absence of law-making. The law was declared rather than made. (d) The law which existed and was thus declared was a body of custom which in time grew to be looked upon as a law fundamental. Rules inconsistent with

-vii-

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The High Court of Parliament and Its Supremacy: An Historical Essay on the Boundaries between Legislation and Adjudication in England
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Table of Contents xxi
  • Chapter I - Introduction 3
  • Chapter II - The Fundamental Law 42
  • Chapter III - Parliament as a Court 109
  • Chapter IV - The Relations Of "Judiciary" and "Legislature" 257
  • Chapter V - The Political History Of Parliamentary Supremacy 336
  • Index 395
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