Readers Meet Author, Margit Cohn’s A Theory of the Executive Branch: Tension and Legality
Heads of executive branches, be they presidents or prime ministers, play a crucial role as leaders in all democratic policies, yet are concurrently required to be subservient to legislation meted out by a sovereign parliament. This panel discusses Margit Cohn‘s recently published book, A Theory of the Executive Branch (OUP, 2021), which offers a theoretical and comparative analysis of the nature of the executive branch and its powers. The paradox above, rarely discussed in a comparative setting, is discussed in the book by introducing a model of law that enables executives to act unfettered under a guise of legality. Thirteen types of ‘fuzzy‘ law, ranging from open-ended texts to unimplemented laws, are applied in the book in two policy fields, emergency and air pollution, and in two systems, the United Kingdom and the United States. Presenting several aspects of the book, four public law scholars offer their comments. The panel ends with the author‘s response.