Three analytical strands (constitutional theory, constitutional history, and contemporary constitutional and administrative law) run through the argument. They merge into a broader account of the conceptual ramifications, the phenomenon, and the constitutional treatment of delegation in a number of paradigmatic legal systems.
As it is argued, the development and failure of constitutional rules imposing limits on legislative delegation reveal the conditions for the possibility of classical limited government and, conversely, the erosion of normativity in contemporary constitutionalism.
Building upon European and American critical legal scholarship, Michelle Everson and Julia Eisner argue that constitutional adjudication has never been the neutral matter of a mere judicial ‘identification’ of the values, norms and procedures that each society seeks to concretise in its own body of constitutional law. Instead, a ‘mythology’ of comprehensive national constitutional settlement has obscured the primary legal constitutional conundrum that is created by the requirement that a judiciary must always adapt its constitutional jurisprudence to the evolving values that are to be found within any society; but must always, also, maintain the integrity and autonomy of the law itself.
European judges and lawyers, having been denied recourse to all forms of constitutional mythology, provide us with an alternative model of constitutionalism; one that does not require a founding myth of constitutional settlement, and one which both secures the autonomy of law, as well as ensures dialogue between law and society. This occurs, however, not through grand theories of ‘constitutional adjudication’ but, as The Making of a European Constitution documents, rather through a practical process.