That understanding is not an academic construct and, especially before an audience of legislators whose task is to give practical voice to those principles, it would be quite wrong, in my view, to approach it as if it were. It is usual for the constitution of a Commonwealth country to distribute the power of government between three branches: Put generally, this distributes and separates the powers of government such that the parliament makes laws by statute, the Ministry, assisted by the civil service, administers those laws, including by the making under statute of regulations and a judiciary, independent of both parliament and that Ministry, resolves controversies which arise in the circumstances of a particular case about the lawfulness of the actions of the other branches of government or under the general or statute law of the nation. That the powers of government came to be distributed and separated in this way was not happenstance.
Has the past still something to tell us? Is an English barrister, attorney general, and Chief Justice from the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras of contemporary interest? Although counterintuitive, Elio Gallego is convinced the answer is a determined yes, if that person is Sir Edward Coke — And as Gallego explains in this book published for a Spanish-speaking readership, his appeal extends more broadly than the Anglo-American world.
Gallego is a professor of law and political science in Madrid who spent a sabbatical year at the Jacques Maritain Center in Notre Dame studying the life and works of Coke. Even though the book is unlikely to reach best-selling status, it is worthwhile, and not just for the compact and academic world of legal scholars, but for a cultivated general public.
Coke is possibly the most important figure in the history of English law. Transferred to the judiciary, he led attacks on royal absolutism and parliamentary aggressiveness alike. The way each element limits the others and the checks-and-balances structure of the power, argues Gallego following Coke, do not weaken them.
On the contrary, these limitations strengthen them.
The democratic age has eroded nearly all the vestiges from the ages when monarchy and aristocracy were dominant. The result has not been a new era of liberty but of the emergence of a new democratic Leviathan that recognizes no limits to its will and is becoming more and more powerful and frightening.
Gallego also explores the classical distinction between the roles of King and Parliament, where the King or, generally speaking, the executive powerhas to ask for money from the Parliament, which represents the people, in order to achieve his goals.
This process reflects one aspect of the relationship between the King and his people—which was sometimes tense and controversial. But it worked reasonably well, at least until the French invented the idea of the absolute monarch. Coke, arguing with King James I, destroyed the basis of such absolutism for England when he declared that the king was not under any man, but under God and the Law: Quod Rex non debet ese sub homine, sed sub Deo et Lege.
When there is no difference between who requests money and who decides to supply it, as is now usual at least in the European democratic countries, the result is a kind of governmental schizophrenia and the door is open to de facto tyranny. Then, a government asks for money and concedes it to itself, which threatens the property rights of all, for such a Leviathan can increase its budget at will and impose endless fiscal charges on the people it supposedly represents.
Gallego argues convincingly that this distinction and the efforts to abolish it are the root of the most important revolutions of the modern age: Coming back to our time, the insane levels of debt accumulated by the Western democracies is a consequence of this phenomenon.
As Gallego puts it, every conception of the law is defined by three great questions: Do we recognize or not a natural law superior to any human law? And finally, what role has custom in relation to the positive law?
We have grown used to judges who reinterpret laws in the most curious ways, typically in accordance with their own views of the good rather than the language of the law before them. This spectacle seems unstoppable, in the United States at least. But Coke, a person who devoted his whole life to the law, tells us something completely different.
Law is not something we construct: We receive it, we discover it, and we declare it. Judges cannot reshape it, doing violence on it to make it fit the latest sociological fashion. The attempt resembles more the old sophists who were good at distorting reality but unable to found a just society.
This vision differs significantly from most contemporary approaches, which look skeptically on claims of authority or tradition. Parts of this book will be especially attractive to those with a more scholarly interest in Coke. Both were supposedly indebted to Coke, but careful reading, as Gallego shows, reveals a huge distance in their thought.
Also of interest is the contrast Gallego draws between Coke and Martin Luther: The consequences of this distinction for our vision of law and politics are crucial: He is president of European Dignity Watch, a nonprofit organization based in Brussels and focused on the defense of personal freedom and responsibility, fundamental rights, and the family.
· The charter became part of English political life and was typically renewed by each monarch in turn, one of the most famous knights in England. William knighted the boy, and Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, the papal legate to England, Sir Edward Coke was a leader in using Magna Carta as a political tool during this ashio-midori.com://ashio-midori.com The AMERICAN COLONISTS LIBRARY lists the key texts that influenced America's Founders and also links to them so that you can read them instantly online.
This is a comprehensive collection of the literature and documents that most directly impacted the thought and lives of America's colonists in the 17th and 18th ashio-midori.com://ashio-midori.com · Sir Edward Coke SL (/ k ʊ k / "cook", formerly / k uː k /; 1 February – 3 September ) was an English barrister, judge, and politician who is considered to be the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean ashio-midori.com://ashio-midori.com · Sir Edward Coke said that Bacon's instructions were illegal, and refused to agree that he had to consult with James on any case.
ashio-midori.com English legal system included not only common law courts but church courts (of which High Commission was the most powerful) and Chancery (a ashio-midori.com · English and British royal mistress Fair Rosamund, an imaginary portrait of Rosamund Clifford, the most famous mistress of King Henry II of England, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti In the English court, a royal mistress was a woman who was the lover of the ashio-midori.com://ashio-midori.com Sir Francis Bacon was born and raised in privilege as his father held the prestigious position of Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and had benefited handsomely from Henry VIII's policy of enriching his friends with confiscated church ashio-midori.com › ashio-midori.com › LawMuseum.