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Title: The impact of implied constitutional principles on fundamental rights adjudication in common law jurisdictions
Author: Wheatle, Se-shauna Monique
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the roles played by implied constitutional principles in fundamental rights cases in the common law jurisdictions of Canada, Australia, the Commonwealth Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. The two principles selected for this research are the separation of powers and the rule of law, both of which are relied upon in courts in common law states. The thesis examines the types of cases in which such principles are used, the possible reasons for the appeal of these principles, and the functions that they play in fundamental rights adjudication. The thesis begins with a brief discussion of the applications of the rule of law and the separation of powers, outlining the content of these principles as applied by the courts. However, the bulk of the analysis throughout the thesis is concerned with a thematic study of the functions played by the principles. It is argued that the principles are used as interpretative aids, as independent grounds for invalidating legislation, and as gateways to comparative legal analysis. The thesis ends by showing the necessary preliminary work that must be undertaken in order to engage in a thorough normative analysis of the use of implied principles in rights adjudication. Throughout the thesis, several themes are identified as key to our understanding of the functions played by implied principles in the cases discussed. One such theme is legitimization, specifically the role the principles play in the attempt to legitimize arguments, state institutions (particularly the courts), and the state itself. The theme of institutional self-protection also arises; it is evident in the use of principles to protect the jurisdictional sphere of the courts. The analysis of the operation of implied constitutional principles also highlights the legacy of Empire and the deployment of traditional principles to signal the maintenance of democratic traditions and institutions.
Supervisor: McCrudden, Christopher Sponsor: Rhodes Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Constitutional & administrative law ; Human rights ; Comparative Law ; constitutional principles ; implied principles ; common law ; constitutional law