PUBLIC REASON AND THE LAW
An online discussion on the occasion of the publication of the book “Constitutional Public Reason” (Oxford University Press) by Wojciech Sadurski is set for the 8th of May between 11.00 and 13.00. You may access the event by clicking here.
The book discusses and defends a principle of public reason (PR), and points out how it is both central and useful for thinking about legitimacy in constitutional law and theory. The principle rests upon a deceptively simple idea, characteristic of political liberalism, that political principles should be suitably acceptable to those whom they are to bind. Some arguments, if present in the minds of legislators or policymakers, are not qualified to figure in the public defense of the law. The author looks at the philosophical groundwork for the idea by unearthing how it connects with the idea of the common good in the first part of the book. The second part is devoted to the examination of how it unfolds in specific constitutional contexts including the United States, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, and Israel. The last section of the book brings up the idea of a ‘supranational public reason’ is articulated and discusses its implications for the legitimacy of authorities that operate beyond the nation-state.