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郭国汀律师专栏
·美国1620年“五月花号”公约(The Mayflower Compact)
·美国1786年弗吉尼亚宗教自由法令
·美国1776年弗吉尼亚权利法案
·美国1862年解放黑奴宣言
·美国1777年邦联条款
·美国1776年维吉尼亚权利法案
(C)***英国人权法律文件
·英国1998年人权法案
·英国1676年人身保护令
·英国1689年权利法案
·英国1628年权利请愿书
·英国1215年自由大宪章
***(52)郭国汀论法官与律师
·悼念前最高法院大法官冯立奇教授逝世四周年
·法官律师与政党 郭国汀
·尊敬的法官大人你值得尊敬吗?!
·郭国汀与中国律师网友论法官
·法官的良心与良知/南郭
·法官!这是我法律生涯的终极目标! 郭国汀
·律师与法官之间究竟应如何摆正关系?
·从 “中国律师人”说开去
·唯有科班出身者才能当律师?!答王靓华高论/南郭
·律师的责任——再答李洪东/南郭
·中国律师朋友们幸福不会从天降!/南郭
·我为北京16位律师喝彩!郭国汀
·郭国汀律师与网上警官的交锋
·我是中国律师我怕谁?!
·郭国汀 好律师与称职的律师
·温柔抗议对郭律师的ID第二次查封
·第五次强烈抗议中国律师网无理非法封杀郭律师的IP
·中国律师网为何封杀中国律师?
·中律网封杀删除最受网友们欢迎的郭国汀律师
·最受欢迎的写手却被中共彻底封杀
·我为何暂时告别中国律师网?
·南郭:律师的文学功底
·中国最需要什么样的律师?
·勇敢地参政议政吧!中国律师们!
·将律师协会办成真正的民间自治组织
·强烈挽留郭国汀律师/小C
·the open letter to Mr.Hu Jintao from Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada for Gao Zhisheng
·自宫与被阉割的中国律师网 /南郭
·做律师首先应当做个堂堂正正的人——南郭与王靓华的论战/南郭
·呵!吉大,我心中永远的痛!
·再答小C君/南郭
·凡跟郭国汀贴者一律入选黑名单!
·历史不容患改!历史专家不敢当,吾喜读中国历史是实
·思想自由的益处答迷风先生
·答迷风先生
·答经纬仪之民族败类之指责,汝不妨教教吾辈汝之哲学呀?
·南郭曾是"天才"但一夜之间被厄杀成蠢才,如今不过是个笨蛋耳!
·答时代精英,
·长歌独行至郭国汀律师公开函
***(53)大学生\知识分子与爱国愤青研究
·春寒料峭,公民兀立(南郭强烈推荐大中学生及留学生和所有关心中国前途的国人精读)
·大中学生及留学生必读:胡锦涛崇尚的古巴政治是什么玩意?!
·是否应彻底否定中华传统文
·向留学生及大中学生推荐一篇好文
·向留学生大学生强烈推荐杰作驳中共政权威权化的谬论
·强烈谴责中共党控教育祸国殃民的罪孽!--闻贺卫方教授失业有感
·學術腐敗是一個國家腐敗病入膏肓的明證
·中共专制暴政长期推行党化奴化教育罪孽深重
·教育国民化、私有化而非政治化党化是改革教育最佳途径之一
·论当代中国大学生和爱国愤青的未来
·给中国大学生留学生及爱国愤青们开书单
·中国知识分子死了!
·强烈推荐大学生与爱国愤青必读最佳论文
·敬请爱国愤青们关注爱国民族英雄郑贻春教授
·敬请海内外爱国愤青兄弟姐妹们关注爱国留学生英雄清水君
·敬请海内外爱国愤青们关注爱国留学生英雄冯正虎
·爱国愤青主要是因为无知
***(54)《郭国汀妙语妙言》郭国汀著
***随笔\散文
·中华文化精华杂谈
·儒家文明导至中国人残忍?!
·儒家不是中共极权专制暴政的根源
·商业文明决定自由宪政民主体制
·关于儒学与中华传统文化之争
·孔子的哲学识见等于零且其思想落后反动?!
·中华文化精华杂谈
·中国人民代表大会体制纯属欺骗国人的摆设
·诚实是人类最大的美德
·人的本质
·圣诞感言
·宽容
·友情
·批评
·物以类聚,人以群分
·中国人难以团结协作的根源何在?
·
·特务
·民运人士需要静心学习思考充实提高自已的理论休养
·诚实是人类最大的美德
· 真理是客观的永恒的不以任何人的主观意志为转移
·马虎学风要不得
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Philosophy Constitutionalism

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Constitutionalism
   Constitutionalism is the idea, often associated with the political theories of John Locke and the "founders" of the American republic, that government can and should be legally limited in its powers, and that its authority depends on its observing these limitations. This idea brings with it a host of vexing questions of interest not only to legal scholars, but to anyone keen to explore the legal and philosophical foundations of the state. How can a government be legally limited if law is the creation of government? Does this mean that a government can be "self-limiting," or is there some way of avoiding this implication? If meaningful limitation is to be possible, must constitutional constraints be somehow "entrenched"? Must they be enshrined in written rules? If so, how are they to be interpreted? In terms of literal meaning or the intentions of their authors, or in terms of the, possibly ever-changing, values they express? How one answers these questions depends crucially on how one conceives the nature, identity and authority of constitutions. Does a constitution establish a stable framework for the exercise of public power which is in some way fixed by factors like the original meaning or intentions? Or is it a "living tree" which grows and develops in tandem with changing political values and principles? These and other such questions are explored below.
   1. Constitutionalism: a Minimal and a Rich Sense
   2. Sovereign versus Government
   3. Entrenchment

   4. "Writtenness"
   5. Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers
   6. Constitutional Law versus Constitutional Convention
   7. Constitutional Interpretation and Constitutional Theories
   8. The Fixed View and the Living Tree
   9. Textualism: The Meaning of a Constitution’s Text
   10. Originalism
   11. Hypothetical Intent Theory
   12. Dworkin: Moral Theory
   13. Critical Theory
   Bibliography
   Other Internet Resources
   Related Entries
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   1. Constitutionalism: a Minimal and a Rich Sense
   In some minimal sense of the term, a "constitution" consists of a set of rules or norms creating, structuring and defining the limits of, government power or authority. Understood in this way, all states have constitutions and all states are constitutional states. Anything recognizable as a state must have some acknowledged means of constituting and specifying the limits (or lack thereof) placed upon the three basic forms of government power: legislative power (making new laws), executive power (implementing laws) and judicial power (adjudicating disputes under laws). Take the extreme case of an absolute monarch, Rex, who combines unlimited power in all three domains. If it is widely acknowledged that Rex has these powers, as well as the authority to exercise them at his pleasure, then the constitution of this state could be said to contain only one rule, which grants unlimited power to Rex. He is not legally answerable for the wisdom or morality of his decrees, nor is he bound by procedures, or any other kinds of limitations or requirements, in exercising his powers. Whatever he decrees is constitutionally valid.
   When scholars talk of constitutionalism, however, they normally mean something that rules out Rex’s case. They mean not only that there are rules creating legislative, executive and judicial powers, but that these rules impose limits on those powers.[1] Often these limitations are in the form of individual or group rights against government, rights to things like free expression, association, equality and due process of law. But constitutional limits come in a variety of forms. They can concern such things as the scope of authority (e.g. in a federal system, provincial or state governments may have authority over health care and education while the federal government’s jurisdiction extends to national defence and transportation); the mechanisms used in exercising the relevant power (e.g. procedural requirements governing the form and manner of legislation); and of course civil rights (e.g. in a Charter or Bill of Rights). Constitutionalism in this richer sense of the term is the idea that government can/should be limited in its powers and that its authority depends on its observing these limitations. In this richer sense of the term, there is no "constitution" in Rex’s society because the rules defining his authority impose no such limits. Compare a second state in which Regina has all the powers possessed by Rex except that she lacks authority to legislate on matters concerning religion. Suppose further that Regina also lacks authority to implement, or to adjudicate on the basis of, any law which exceeds the scope of her legislative competence. We have here the seeds of constitutionalism as that notion has come to be understood in Western legal thought.
   In discussing the history and nature of constitutionalism, a comparison is often drawn between Thomas Hobbes and John Locke who are thought to have defended, respectively, the notion of a constitutionally unlimited sovereign (e.g. Rex) versus that of a sovereign limited by the terms of a social contract containing substantive limitations on her authority (e.g. Regina).[2] But an equally good focal point is the English legal theorist John Austin who, like Hobbes, thought that the very notion of limited sovereignty is incoherent. For Austin, all law is the command of a sovereign, and so the notion that the sovereign could be limited by law requires a sovereign who is self-binding, who commands him/her/itself. But no one can "command" himself, except in some figurative sense, so the notion of limited sovereignty is, for Austin (and Hobbes), as incoherent as the idea of a square circle.[3] Though this feature of Austin’s theory has some plausibility when applied to the British Parliamentary system, where Parliament is often said to be "supreme" and constitutionally unlimited,[4] it faces serious difficulty when applied to most other constitutional democracies such as one finds in the United States and Germany, where it is clear that the powers of government are legally limited by a constitution. Austin’s answer was to say that sovereignty may lie with the people, or some other person or body whose authority is unlimited. Government bodies -- e.g. Parliament or the judiciary -- can be limited by constitutional law, but the sovereign -- i.e. "the people" -- remains unlimited. Whether this provides Austin with an adequate means of dealing with constitutional democracies is highly questionable. For Austin’s sovereign is a determinate individual or group of individuals whose commands to others constitute law. But if we identify the commanders with "the people", then we have the paradoxical result identified by H.L.A. Hart -- the commanders are commanding the commanders. In short, we lapse into incoherence.[5]
   2. Sovereign versus Government
   Though there are serious difficulties inherent in Austin’s attempt to make sense of "the people’s sovereignty," his account does bring out the need to distinguish between two different concepts: sovereignty and government. Roughly speaking, we might define "sovereignty" as the possession of supreme (and possibly unlimited) power and authority over some domain, and "government" as those persons or bodies through whom sovereignty is exercised. Once some such distinction is drawn, we see immediately that sovereignty might lie somewhere other than with the government. And once this implication is accepted, we can coherently go on to speak of limited government coupled with unlimited sovereignty. Arguably this is what one should say about constitutional democracies where the people’s sovereignty is thought to be unlimited but the government’s power is constitutionally limited. As Locke held, unlimited sovereignty remains with the people who have the normative power to void the authority of their government (or some part thereof) if it exceeds its constitutional limitations.
   Though sovereignty and government are different notions, it does seem possible for them to apply to the same individual or body. It is arguable that Hobbes insisted on the identification of sovereign and government insofar as he seemed to require a (virtually) complete transfer of all rights and powers from sovereign individuals to a political sovereign whose authority was to be absolute, thus rendering it possible to emerge from the wretched state of nature in which life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."[6] In Hobbes’ theory, supreme sovereignty must reside in the supreme governmental person or body who enjoys unlimited power and authority to rule the commonwealth. Anything less than unlimited government would, given human nature and the world we inhabit, destroy the very possibility of stable government. So even if "sovereignty" and "government" are different notions, this neither means nor implies that the two could not apply to one and the same individual(s).

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