Introduction: Rediscovering Public Law
This introductory chapter explains the nature of the concept of public law examined in this book. Public law is not conceived simply to be a subset of positive law: public law as distinct from private law. Public law is the modern expression of the medieval idea of fundamental law, the law that establishes the authority of government. The book is an inquiry into questions of ‘right’ relating to the conferral of authority and legitimacy on modern governmental ordering. This concept of public law is of European origin and is formed as the code of an autonomous public sphere that emerges as a consequence of modernity.
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