This book was inspired by the desire of British public lawyers to learn something more about how executive power may be conceived. The public law regimes of all the jurisdictions considered in this book find executive power to be a difficult and testing matter. An uneasy ambivalence about executive power is detected in all of the chapters — a recognition, perhaps, that on the one hand the government must be allowed to govern but that on the other it is the role of public law to find ways of delimiting the government's reach and of holding the government's exercise of its power to account. The inadequacy of formal, constitutional definitions of executive power is a widely shared phenomenon. All of the constitutions considered in this book provide comprehensive definitions of executive power.
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