Constitutional Law Dissertation Topics

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Public, Constitutional and Administrative Law Dissertation Topics

This page contains a selection of 6 dissertation topics and ideas on public, constitutional and administrative law for you. Please use these topics to help you create your own masterpiece..

1. Should the British Constitution be cemented into writing?

The argument of Barber and Bogdonor et al argue there needs to be a “real consideration” of the core crisis, which is the relational power between parliament and the judiciary as the powers have become too fused. In relation to this question Bogdonor et al argue for a written constitution; whereas Barber argues against it. Thus, although both argue there needs to be a new constitutional model, but they vary on the nature of a written and unwritten approach. This examination will explore how the current model is no longer fit for purpose, and identify the form that the re-alignment should be in.

2. Is the Draft Cabinet Manual 2010 sufficient to prevent the future abuse of power by the Executive?

The fusion of the British legislature and the executive has always been criticised, because it does not ensure the necessary independence envisaged by the Dicean model. However, the case of R v HM Treasury, ex parte Smedley [1985] 1 All ER 589 and Duport Steels Ltd and Others v Sirs and Others [1980] 1 All ER 529 held that the English rule of law is based on the separation of powers. Thus, this raises the question whether there are sufficient measures in place to prevent abuse in power. In fact, recent failure to use the Draft Cabinet Manual 2010 illustrates that little has changed; thus should there be a stronger legal right to challenge misuse of power.

3. Is the British Bill of Rights necessary to create a balance between rights and responsibilities?

The ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) is being challenged with the British Bill of Rights; however the question to be asked is whether this is little more than to reinforce governmental control to limit rights. Thus, this discussion will examine if the argument of rights and responsibilities contained within the Justice Department’s Green Paper: Rights and Responsibilities: developing our Constitutional Framework 2009. Therefore, the jurisprudence of human rights law under the ECHR will be compared with the traditional civil liberties approach and the proposed approach in the Bill of Rights Model

4. Is the Royal Prerogative an essential part of the British Constitution?

This dissertation topic will explore the arguments supporting the Royal Prerogative in English law. The case law has maintained this approach, even though it was disapproved by Dicey. However, in the era of the ECHR the right for judicial challenge is growing, as confirmed in R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2001] QB 1067; R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2) [2006] All ER (D) 149 and A v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] 2 WLR 87. Therefore, this discussion will focus on the nature of the Royal Prerogative, Dicean criticisms, traditional case law and the impact of the ECHR.

5. Are the current models of statutory interpretation fit for purpose, especially as the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) infer a more active approach for judges?

The traditional approach to statutory interpretation is limited to either the: literal, golden, mischief or purposive rule. The following examination will explore if judicial activism should be allowed in statutory interpretation, especially given the judicial models applied in the ECJ and ECtHR that are being applied directly in English Courts. Therefore, This dissertation topic will explore the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, ECJ and then consider if the statutory models within English law should be expanded.

6. Is the lack of merits based appeal in English law an indication that judicial review is failing complex environmental cases?

This dissertation topic will explore the role judicial review in English law, which is limited to a procedural model. The problem with this approach is that complex cases are not being properly considered, which would best be suited with a merits based appeal. On this basis, it is essential to consider merits based administrative processes. Therefore, a comparative case study between Australian and English administrative law will be undertaken, in order to determine if a merits based model should be developed. The use of the environmental case law will be used, because of the specialised processes in place in Australia.

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