Dalhousie Law Journal


Governmental Continuity, Implications, Legal Profession, idea framework, legal system, lawyers function.


Because legal practice requires attorneys to apply themselves to the specifics of individual cases, it may be useful to generalize to an idea framework whose object is to measure the level of continuity existing in the legal system within which lawyers function. The relevance is that owing to the nature of the practitioner's work it is necessary that within the governing structure of a country there be present a reasonable level of governmental continuity. The latter is germane to the practice of law, for attorneys can work with adversarial proceedings and cases at suit only if there is certainty about the existence of continuous operation in the governing institutions of a nation state. That the measurement of governmental continuity can be given a mathematical context is the suggestion of this paper. By the term governmental continuity is meant that capacity of the formal governing institutions of democracies in the Western tradition to maintain themselves in continuous operation through the instrumentality of political parties. Examples of these democracies include, among others, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and the United States, all of which emphasize the importance of periodic, free elections, the formation of political parties to contest elective offices, and the governance of national governments through a single party or one in coalition with another.