TBLS lecturer Marc Johnson’s article titled “Legislative Sovereignty: Moving from Jurisprudence Towards Metaphysics” has been published in “Jurisprudence: An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought”. TBLS students can access the online version through Taylor & Francis Online and HeinOnline via University of Liverpool. Publication in print is pending.
Legislative sovereignty is often discussed with one eye on the past and one eye on the procedural functions of law-making in the present. This limits the scope for a conceptual understanding of legislative sovereignty and hinders its theoretical progress. This article argues that legislative sovereignty contains within it the concept of an idol and that understanding the scope and impact of the idol of sovereignty is necessary for future development in this field. Theories from Kant, Nietzsche, von Mises and Derrida are used to offer a divergent critique of legislative sovereignty while the author calls for a move towards a nuanced view of legislative and Parliamentary Sovereignty to account for its idolism. The key factor preventing the development of a truly nuanced and reflective theory of sovereignty is the devotion to former idols which are inoperable and inconsistent with modern geopolitical, inter-state relationships. The author also argues that our knowledge of sovereignty is synthetic a priori and that development in this area can only be by reason, as knowledge derived experientially is subject to the Kantian Transcendental Idealism.