Constitutional & Administrative Law

9th Edition

By Hilaire Barnett

Routledge – 2011 – 768 pages

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    May 25th 2011
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Constitutional and Administrative Law (Public Law) is a dynamic and challenging area of law which has an impact on all of our lives. Whenever a government is elected, a new piece of legislation is passed or a citizen’s rights are abused, it is Public Law which provides the legal framework within which government and administration functions.

Hilaire Barnett’s classic textbook equips students with an understanding of the constitution’s past, present and future by analysing and illustrating the political and socio-historical contexts which have shaped the major rules and principles of public law, as well as ongoing constitutional reform.

Having undergone a rigorous editing process to offer a more concise account of public law today, contemporary developments covered in this edition include the UK's first coalition government for nearly 60 years, and recent proposals to introduce fixed-term parliaments and electoral reform.

Key learning features include:

  • introductory chapter overviews outlining the topics and concepts covered;
  • short chapter summaries to distil and reflect upon the main points raised;
  • marginal cross-references which help students to recognise connections across topics;
  • a comprehensive companion website, featuring enhanced coverage and a pathway for further study across a variety of topics

Mapped to the common course outline, this textbook offers full coverage of the Public Law syllabus. Written in a clear and understandable style, Constitutional and Administrative Law is an invaluable resource for every student of Public Law.


"Barnett is based on high academic standards while being easy to read and to understand … it is the perfect introductory text." Alexander Fischer, Lecturer in Law, SOAS, University of London

"Clear, detailed and thorough … students really enjoy this textbook and I strongly recommend it." Javier Oliva, Lecturer in Law, Bangor University

"Complete, precise and clear … extremely suitable." Caroline Fournet, Lecturer in Law, University of Exeter

"Utterly reliable." Nick Howard, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Glamorgan

"The book is authoritative, thorough, well structured, clear and coherent." Philip Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of the West of England

"..a sophisticated blend of legal material and theoretical ideas." David Radlett, Lecturer in Law, University of Kent


Part I: General Introduction 1. Introduction: The United Kingdom and Its Constitution 2. Sources of the Constitution Part II: Fundamental Constitutional Concepts 3. The Rule of Law 4. The Separation of Powers 5. The Royal Prerogative 6. Parliamentary Sovereignty Part III: The European Community and Union 7. Structures and Institutions 8. European Community Law and National Law Part IV: Central, Regional and Local Government 9. Central Government 10. Responsible Government 11. Devolution and Local Government Part V:Parliament 12. The Electoral System 13. Introduction to the House of Commons 14. The Legislative Process 15. Scrutiny of the Executive 16. The House of Lords 17. Parliamentary Privilege Part VI: The Individual and the State 18. The Protection of Human Rights 19. Freedom of Expression and Privacy 20. Freedom of Association and Assembly 21. The Police and Police Powers 22. State Security Part VII: Administrative Law 23. Judicial Review: Introduction, Jurisdiction and Procedure 24. Grounds for Judicial Review I: the Substantive Grounds for Judicial Review 25. Grounds for Judicial Review II: Procedural Grounds: Procedural Impropriety 26. Commissioners for Administration: Ombudsmen and Tribunals

Author Bio

Hilaire Barnett, BA, LLM, was previously at Queen Mary College, University of London.


Welcome to the companion website for Constitutional and Administrative Law, 9th Edition.

On this accompanying website, you'll find the following resources for both Instructors and Students with which you can engage with the latest edition of Constitutional and Administrative Law:

Student Resources:

Multiple Choice Questions
Test your progress by tackling a series of chapter-by-chapter multiple choice questions. Each answer links you back to the textbook for further study.

Questions and Answers
Hone your writing skills by taking on a set of constitutional and administrative law essay and problem questions – ideal for exam and assessment practice.

Explore further
Investigate Constitutional and Administrative Law further with a series of chapter-by-chapter weblinks.

Go straight to the source
Access the primary sources by following our links to each of the cases and statutes cited in the text held on LexisLibrary and on the National Archives, or access the full bibliography from Constitutional and Administrative Law.

Put it in context
See how the UK’s constitution has developed historically and how each milestone relates to the present day using our interactive timeline.

Get topical
Read about some of the latest issues and cases within constitutional and administrative law from the Student Law Review.

Instructor Resources:

Download PowerPoint versions of the diagrams from the text.

Use these slides either in lectures or within seminars and tutorials to facilitate discussion and debate.

A fully customisable testbank of approximately 490 questions which can be integrated into your Virtual Learning Environment.

Text Updates: bi-annual updates to the print copy of the text.