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By John E. Finn

During this compelling examine, which unites the fields of constitutional concept 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 frequent political violence demanding situations the presuppositions of constitutional authority in any liberal democracy, particularly that cause and deliberation, and never ardour or will, may be the root of political group. Terrorism hence constitutes either a selected form of constitutional emergency and a problem to the extra basic firm 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 rule of thumb of legislation.

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Extra resources for Constitutions in Crisis: Political Violence and the Rule of Law

Example text

As a general rule, moreover, authorities must respect the broadest conception of individual rights compatible with their efforts at constitutional self-defense.

Nor do they greatly constrict the scope and breadth of such powers. Indeed, insofar as they permit suspension of documentary restraints upon power, they allow governments a very broad measure of discretion and authority to respond to emergencies. But they do so in a manner that does not threaten our commitment to constitutionalism itself. The principles ensure that the assumption and utilization of emergency powers takes place in a constitutional manner and that such powers are not exercised in an arbitrary fashion or solely for the self-interest of the holder.

As James Boyd White wrote: [L]anguage has a remarkable flexibility, for it can be used to justify a very wide range of conduct. Such flexibility is essential to the continued existence of any language of this kind [language that constitutes and orders]. . 79 Insofar as the objection is founded on a more general epistemological skepticism concerning the nature of knowledge, language, or reason, there is plainly no way to respond fully to the objection here, but I shall examine it at greater length in the afterword to this chapter.

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