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Synopsis

The frontier between 'law' and 'politics' is not always clear-cut. A large area exists where courts operate, but where governments and parliaments also make decisions. Tim Koopmans compares the way American, British, French and German law and politics deal with different issues: in many instances subjects which are highly 'political' in one country constitute legal issues in another. Is there, for example a 'sovereign Parliament' (as there is in Britain), or will courts control the compatibility of statutes with the Constitution (as in the United States and Germany)? How far can courts go in controlling the legality of administrative action? Are there general legal theories about the frontier between what courts and what politics can do? Koopmans considers case law on a range of issues, including human rights protection, federalism, separation of powers, equal protection and the impact of European and international law.

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