© copyright 2020 David Chan Smith    

England's Constitutional History

The struggle over constitutional norms and confidence in legal institutions has been a crucial part of English history over the centuries. My research explores how constitutional law was created and contested in early modern England. 

Sir Edward Coke and the Reformation of the Laws re-interprets the foundations of modern English 

constitutionalism

Constitutional Foundations

My recent book, Sir Edward Coke and the Reformation of the Laws (now available in paperback), examines the career of Sir Edward Coke.

 

Coke was among the greatest common law judges and a parliamentarian noted for his opposition to the king in the early seventeenth century. Many of his decisions and law reports are still cited today in common law jurisdictions.

 

The book uses new archival material to re-interpret our understanding of his career and legal thinking. By doing so, the book adds to our knowledge of the development of constitutional law in England during the early modern period and by extension, the basis of many modern liberties.

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I am now completing the chapter on the sixteenth century for the forthcoming Cambridge Constitutional History of the United Kingdom and investigating the relationship between attorney generals and the development of administrative law during the eighteenth century. 

Religious Thought and the Law

A new essay on Coke and the religious influences on his jurisprudence can be found in Great Christian Jurists in English History, a collected volume of essays from Cambridge University Press.