Constitutional Dilemmas: Conflicts of Fundamental Legal Rights in Europe and the USA by Lorenzo Zucca

Publication Date01 Mar 2009
AuthorVito Breda
to the system posed by the gifting of binding force to such commercial agree-
ments between the parties.
At its conclusion the book returns tothe basic issues of partyconsent to agree-
ments on jurisdiction and choice of law.We are presented with a restatement of
the common law pri nciples establis hed and/or argued for throughout the text.
There then follows a brief, unenthusiastic, overview of the Hague Convention
on Choice of Court Agreements. Professor Briggs then returns to the important
issue of the role of the judge and draws an analogy between the role of the com-
mon law judge and that of an umpire.The point of the analogy is to stress the
particularnature of the judicial role in theadjudicationof disputes in the common
law and to raise the possibility of an irrevocable adjudicatory di¡erence between
the common law and‘the’civil law. In truth little more than a sketch is attempted
at this point, which is both a shame for the instant reader and a spur to other
authors. The book ends with a reprise of the authors basic point concerning the
interaction of Private International Law and party autonomy when manifested as
consent to a forum or to a law: thata court which accepts the evidence ofsuch an
agreement and directly or indirectly holds an individual to it does no violence to
the procedural superstructure which is embodied by Private International Law.
This most valuablebook may be recommended toall concerned with theprac-
tice, studyor adjudication of issues arising from agreements concerning jurisdic-
tion and choice of law.
Jonathan Fitchen
Lorenzo Zucca, Constitutional Dilemmas: Con£icts of Fundamental Legal
Rights in Europe and the USA
,Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, 188
pp, hb d50.00.
Ongoingconstitutional debates over fundamental issues such as abortion lawand
the right to life, protectio n of privacy and freedom of speech have recently
attracted much interest. Zuccas Constitutional Dilemmas brings fresh analysis to
these well established narratives by setting them in a comparative context. The
text has two main contentions: ¢rst, that constitutional dilemmas are axiomatic
elementsof a modern and dynamic constitutional system; and second, thata legal
systems claim to authority depends on clear epistemic practices and assumptions
adoptedto accommodatethem in a quasi-coherent legal system.These two argu-
ments are developed by adopting an induc tive methodology which begins by dis-
cussing the meta-legal assumptions which inform moder n rights doctrines a nd
then moves on to a second section where some of the contentions presented on
the ¢rst part are discussed from a comparative perspective.While the ¢rst section
makes some interestingclaims, the second is more convincing.
The comparative analysis is excel lent. Zucca adopts a quasi-legal realist
approach which ties together a series of well constructed arguments and detailed
School of Law,University of Aberdeen
r2009 The Authors. Journal Compilationr20 09 The Modern LawReview Limited.
(2009) 72(2) 313^329

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