The True Nature of Constitutional Law

  • A. V. Dicey


Great critics,” writes Burke in 1791, “have taught us “one essential rule…It is this, that if ever we should “find ourselves disposed not to admire those writers “or artists, Livy and Virgil for instance, Raphael or “Michael Angelo, whom all the learned had admired, “not to follow our own fancies, but to study them until “we know how and what we ought to admire ; and if “we cannot arrive at this combination of admiration “with knowledge, rather to believe that we are dull, “than that the rest of the world has been imposed “on. It is as good a rule, at least, with regard to “this admired constitution (of England). We ought “to understand it according to our measure; and “to venerate where we are not able presently to “comprehend.”1


True Nature Sovereign Power English Constitution English Institution Legal Fiction 
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  1. 1.
    Stanhope, Life of Pitt (2nd ed., 1862), vol. i, App. p. a.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Freeman, Growth of the English Constitution (1st ed., 1872), p. 125.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    See, however, Jennings, The Law and the Constitution, (4th ed., 1952), pp. 102–105, and Intro. p. elv,ante.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1979

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  • A. V. Dicey

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