Colonial and Post-colonial Constitutionalism in the Commonwealth

Peace, Order and Good Government

By Hakeem O. Yusuf

© 2014 – Routledge

264 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415813648
pub: 2013-12-11
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

The peace, order and good government (POGG) clause is found in the constitutions of almost all Commonwealth countries. Since its introduction, the clause has played a significant role in colonial and post-colonial constitutionalism in Commonwealth jurisdictions.

This book is the first full length analysis of the various dimensions of the peace, order and good government clause. It argues that the origins of the POGG clause mark it out as an anachronistic feature of British constitutionalism when seen against a modern setting of human rights, liberty and democratisation. The book traces the history, politics and applications of the clause through the colonial period in Commonwealth territories to date. It provides critical evaluation of the POGG clause in a cross-continental enquiry, examining statutory, political and constitutional deployment in Australia, Canada, India, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The evaluation demonstrates that the POGG clause has relevance in a number of significant aspects of legal and socio-political ordering across the Commonwealth featuring prominently in the federalism question, emergency powers and the review of administrative powers. It maintains that while the clause is not entirely devoid of positive value, the POGG clause has been used not only to further the objects of colonialism, but also authoritarianism and apartheid. This book calls for a rethink of the prevailing subjective approach to the interpretation of the clause.

The book will be of interest to students and academics of public law, human rights law, and comparative politics.


Winner of John T. Saywell Prize for Canadian Constitutional Legal History for 2015

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Peace, Order and Good Government: Origin, development and meaning of a power 2. Canada: Federalism, and the country of 'Peace, Order and Good Government' 3. Peace, Order and Good Government in Australia: Of legalism and parliamentary sovereignty 4. Adventures in Power: Federalism and peace, order and good government in Nigeria 5. Empire All Over Again: Peace, order and good government in the United Kingdom and its territories 6. Law, Politics and Peace, Order and Good Government: The Case for Change 7. Conclusion.

About the Author

Hakeem Yusuf

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Learn more about Hakeem Yusuf >>

Hakeem Yusuf is a senior lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. His monograph, Transitional Justice, Judicial Accountability and the Rule of Law (Routledge 2010) was shortlisted for the 2011 IALT Kevin Boyle Book Prize.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Constitutional Law

This series features thought-provoking and original scholarship on constitutional law and theory. Books explore key topics, themes and questions in the field with a particular emphasis on comparative studies. Where relevant, titles will engage with political and social theory, philosophy and history in order to offer a rounded analysis of constitutions and constitutional law.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Comparative
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Legal History
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism