New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

Document Type



Cambridge Companion to Public Law, Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming


This paper explores the possibility of a conception of the rule of law that is oriented specifically to public law. It is not a conception of the rule of law that privileges private law rights (like rights of property) nor is it an abstract or anodyne conception that is supposed to apply to all areas of governance indiscriminately. Instead this is an account of the rule of law that takes the mission of public administration seriously and seeks to establish it on a footing of legality rather than managerialism, while at the same time acknowledging that sometimes private interests have to give way to the interests of the public.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Dicey, discretion, public law, public administration, rule of law