Dr Bonham's Case and ‘void’ statutes

  title={Dr Bonham's Case and ‘void’ statutes},
  author={Ian S. Williams},
  journal={The Journal of Legal History},
  pages={111 - 128}
There are two opinions on Coke's remarks in Dr Bonham's Case concerning ‘void’ statutes. Firstly that Coke was assuming a power to declare statutes void as incompatible with some form of higher order law; secondly that Coke was merely asserting a power to interpret statutes. This article suggests that the range of meanings of the word ‘void’ in early-modern English law undermines the foundations of the first position, and that there is no good evidence suggesting a natural law position. Coke's… Expand
10 Citations


The Equity of a Statute and Heydon's Case', 31 Illinois Law Review
  • 1936
Absolute Monarchy, 186. In such an argument, there is also the possibility that Coke deliberately included the word 'void' as a studied ambiguity
    Against Common Right and Reason
      Bonham's Case
        Bonham's Case Reviewed', 51; Rousewell v Ivory (1618) Trin. 16 J. 1, per Crewe Sjt
          Coke therefore seems to be aware that his reasoning may lead to the statute never being applied in its anticipated form
            The Case of the City of London (1609) 8 Co. Rep. 126a (emphasis added)