We, the People(s)

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We, the People(s)

Dean Charters

Publisher:Victoria University Press

“We, the people” begins the preamble of the United States Constitution. The revolutionary concept of this Constitution is that power comes from the people and that rulers rule with their consent. New Zealand has a creditable record in democratic longevity and participation but, because it has no codified constitution, there is no single document that encapsulates the fundamental truth of the centrality of New Zealand people in their democracy. Ensuring the strength of our democracy requires New Zealanders to remain engaged with their democracy, by making submissions on Bills before Parliament or policies being considered by government, using their right to assemble peaceably and to petition governments, serving on juries and, most importantly, voting. The participation and engagement of the people(s) in governance is a foundational jurisprudential issue because it is the participation by the people(s) that justifies, at least partially, the continuing exercise of authority over them by democratic governments.This book presents a number of different perspectives focused on the role the people (or peoples) play - or should play - in governance under domestic constitutions and administrative structures.

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