Negotiable Constitution On the Limitation of Rights

ISBN-10: 110741184X
ISBN-13: 9781107411845
Edition: 2012
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Description: In matters of rights, constitutions tend to avoid settling controversies. With few exceptions, rights are formulated in open-ended language, seeking consensus on an abstraction without purporting to resolve the many moral-political questions  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 7/26/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

In matters of rights, constitutions tend to avoid settling controversies. With few exceptions, rights are formulated in open-ended language, seeking consensus on an abstraction without purporting to resolve the many moral-political questions implicated by rights. The resulting view has been that rights extend everywhere but are everywhere infringed by legislation seeking to resolve the very moral-political questions the constitution seeks to avoid. First published in 2009, The Negotiable Constitution challenges this view. Arguing that underspecified rights call for greater specification, Grégoire C. N. Webber draws on limitation clauses common to most bills of rights to develop a new understanding of the relationship between rights and legislation. The legislature is situated as a key constitutional actor tasked with completing the specification of constitutional rights. In turn, because the constitutional project is incomplete with regards to rights, it is open to being re-negotiated by legislation struggling with the very moral-political questions left underdetermined at the constitutional level.

Gr�goire C. N. Webber is Associate Fellow at McGill University's Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He was previously law clerk to the Honourable Justice W. Ian C. Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Introduction: on the limitation of rights
The constitution as activity
The received approach to the limitation of rights
Challenging the age of balancing
Constituting rights by limitation
The democratic activity of limiting rights
Justifying rights in a free and democratic society
Conclusion

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