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Home » Archive » Administrative procedures and rights in italy: a comparative approach

Giacinto della Cananea
Administrative procedures and rights in italy: a comparative approach
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Legal limits to despotism: from Constitutions to administrative procedures acts In his classic essay on constitutionalism, Charles McIlwain argued that we should “Admit the truth of Paine's dictum that ‘a constitution is not the act of a government but of a people constituting a government’”1. And, if this be true, this ‘constitution’ must be “Superior in character to the acts of any ‘government’ it creates”. As a result, the ‘constitution’ must be also unalterable by ordinary legal process. This is not only a logical consequence, but at the same time a necessary one. The reason is, McIlwain continued, that “Constitutionalism has one essential quality: it is a legal limitation on government; it is the antithesis of arbitrary rule; its opposite is despotic government, the government of will instead of law”.

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