We and our cousins in the USA once lived in societies where Presidents and Prime Ministers who wished to impose their will on their country would ask “May I do it: does the law allow it”. On either side of the Atlantic we now have a President and a Prime Minister who ask a much simpler question, “Can anyone stop me?” The difference between “May I?” and “Can I?” is the difference between lawful and accountable government and the whims of dictatorship.
Published by Peter G Harris
Peter G Harris is a barrister and was a senior civil servant responsible for advising ministers in the UK on policy and legislation for reforming the civil law and civil justice system. He is now based at Exeter College in the University of Oxford where he teaches and continues to think about the law as an instrument of public policy. View all posts by Peter G Harris