Constitutional Law

  • Carl Wellman
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 115)


Law is a text-based practice, a practice of creating and applying legally authoritative texts. A practice is defined as a set of social practice rules, rules implicit in some form of established social activity. National law is made and applied by social institutions such as legislatures and courts and administrative agencies by which a society governs itself. Constitutional law is that body of law that constitutes a nation state, primarily by allocating fundamental legal powers. These may be, but need not be, codified in a written document. Even when they are codified, they are supplemented by unwritten law consisting of institutional practices of interpretation and application including constitutional conventions.


Legal System United States Constitution Legal Institution Legal Text Judicial Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Dicey, A. V. (1939) Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, 9th edition. Macmillan and Co. London.Google Scholar
  2. Grey, Thomas C. (1979) Constitutionalism: An Analytic Framework. In Constitutionalism. J. Roland Pennock and John W. Chapman (eds). New York University Press. New York.Google Scholar
  3. Hart, H. L. A. (1994) The Concept of Law, 2nd edition. Clarendon Press. Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. Horwill, Herbert W. (1925), The Usages of the American Constitution. Oxford University Press. London.Google Scholar
  5. House of Lords (1976) Attorney-General v. Blake (Jonathan Cape Ltd. Third Party). QB 752.Google Scholar
  6. House of Lords (2004) A and Others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department. UKHL 56.Google Scholar
  7. King, Anthony (2007) The British Constitution. Oxford University Press. Oxford.Google Scholar
  8. McGrath QC, John (1999) The Harkness Lecture: The Crown, the Parliament and the Government. Waikato Law Review 7:1–22.Google Scholar
  9. Miller, Charles A. (1972) The Supreme Court and the Uses of History. Simon and Schuster. New York.Google Scholar
  10. Munzer, Stephen R. and Nickel, James W. (1977) Does the Constitution Mean What It Always Meant? Columbia Law Review 13: 1029–1062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rawls, John (1955) Two Concepts of Rules. Philosophical Review 64: 3–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Raz, Joseph (1998) On the Authority and Interpretation of Constitutions: Some Preliminaries. In Constitutionalism: Philosophic Foundations, Larry Alexander (ed.). Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.Google Scholar
  13. Supreme Court of Canada (1981) Re: Resolution to Amend the Constitution. 1. S.C.R. 753.Google Scholar
  14. Supreme Court (1954) Brown v. Board of Education. 347 U.S. 483.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Wellman
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentWashington University in Saint LouisSaint LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations