Book review - Ruth Dukes, Labour’s Constitution: The Enduring Idea of Labour Law

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Source Publication

79 (2016) Modern Law Review 746-51.


The crisis of protective labour law is now well documented. Legal supports for collective bargaining have been eroding and while this is partially offset by growth in the legal regulation of the individual employment relation, often these laws have permitted greater business flexibility at the expense of worker protection or have simply failed to address the needs of the growing number of workers who find themselves in precarious employment relations, including so-called self-employment, temporary and casual work, agency work, etc. So great has been the erosion that labour law scholars are increasingly engaged in discussions about what the purpose of labour law is-a sure sign of crisis (see G. Davidov and B. Langille (eds), The Idea of Labour Law (Oxford: OUP, 2011)). For these reasons, Ruth Dukes' book is both a timely and a brave contribution to the unsettling debate over the purposes and possibilities of labour law in the opening decades of the twenty-first century.

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