In September 2014,together with my colleagues John Bell, Jason Varuhas and Philip Murray, I co-convened a conference in Cambridge on the subject of Process and Substance in Public Law—the first in a series of major international conferences on public law. Hart Publishing has now published Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance, a collection of essays based on a selection of papers that were delivered at the conference. Like the conference itself, the book reflects the fact that while those from common law jurisdictions share background understandings, significant differences between such systems create opportunities for valuable exchanges of ideas and debate.
The book draws upon one of the principal sub-themes that emerged during the conference—namely, the way in which relationships and distinctions between the notions of ‘process’ and ‘substance’ play out in relation to and inform adjudication in public law cases. The essays contained in this volume address those issues from a variety of perspectives. While the bulk of the chapters consider topical issues in judicial review, either on common law or human rights grounds, or both, other chapters adopt more theoretical, historical, empirical or contextual approaches. Concluding chapters reflect generally on the papers in the collection and the value of facilitating cross-jurisdictional dialogue.
The second conference in the Public Law series, The Unity of Public Law?, will take place in Cambridge from 12 to 14 September 2016. Further information about that conference can be found here.