Democracy as the Legitimating Condition in the UK Constitution

24 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2017

Date Written: May 19, 2017


The UK constitution is either theorised as a political constitution that is premised on the Westminster model of government or as a legal constitution that rests on moral principles, which the common law is said to protect. Both models conceive of democracy in procedural terms, and not in substantive terms. However, the democratic legitimacy of laws stems from a complex constellation of conditions that no longer involves popular or parliamentary sovereignty alone. This article explores three questions. First, in what situation does the absence of a concrete understanding of democracy become an inescapable problem for constitutional law? Second, to what extent are the existing constitutional models democratically deficient? Third, what precisely must democracy prescribe as the indispensable condition for political legitimacy?

Suggested Citation

Murkens, Jo Eric Khushal, Democracy as the Legitimating Condition in the UK Constitution (May 19, 2017). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 8/2017, Available at SSRN: or

Jo Eric Khushal Murkens (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom


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