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Submitted By rony22
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Multi-Layered and multi-levelled? Public law architectures for the 21st century Since the 19th century the world has changed. Some aspects of life have changed more, others less. The means of communication, technology and transportation of the 21st century, for example, are light-years away from those of the 19th century. Public law concepts have not kept pace. In the words of an author of the book reviewed here, reflecting on the concept of ‘the state’ and the problem of sovereignty: in political as in constitutional legal theory, we still need to cut off the King’s head,1 as we are still entrenched in the philosophical and constitutional language of the 19th century.2 But recently, with European integration and globalisation, change has also occurred in the traditional concepts of public law such as “state” or “constitution”. The book edited by Bamforth and Leyland is about this change over the last thirty years or so.3 “Public Law in a Multi-Layered Constitution” is a significant contribution to a better understanding of how public law is transformed, in Great Britain and elsewhere. The title of the book as well as its introduction (pp. 1-26) state that its central theme is the transformation of the British constitution into a “multi-layered constitution.” This is meant to refer to a constitution that “contains multiple, but inter-connected and sometimes overlapping European and national layers”,4 where “power (both legislative and political) has been spread away from the Westminister Parliament, both ‘upwards’ to the European Union and ‘downwards’ to the devolved assemblies.”5 The editors’ claim is that this restructuring of the constitutional architecture of the United Kingdom is occurring while there is also a rebalancing of the roles of the courts and parliament in holding the executive accountable, an alteration of government by the process of privatisation,…...

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