Constitutionalism and the despatch‐box principle

This essay presents a construct of constitutionalism. This is to do with more than a ?constitution?, or a ?corporate organisation?, or ?majority rule?. Constitutionalism is marked by a particular type of corporate rule, featuring a persistent (continuing) popular sovereignty, in which all who are governed are members, have a duty of mutual respect, enjoy an equal share in the vote, and are equally subject to the law. Under constitutionalism, the sovereign is perceived as bound by rules (in law) which that sovereign cannot rise above. Constitutionalism underscores a procedure of non?exclusion, public rationality, and transparency. It is assumed to supply the most suitable philosophical and legal framework for most ?multiculturalist? theses. The essay extracts from British constitutional practice what it locates as the ?despatch?box? regime, and argues for this as a key principle in the management of all constitutionalist entities, including the European Union
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DOI 10.1080/13698239908403275
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