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Discuss the effect U.K membership of the E.U has had on English law.

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Introduction

Discuss the effect U.K membership of the E.U has had on English law. We have already seen that Britain's entry into the European Treaty's has invoked huge reform. (British) Parliament must now legislate in conjunction with EU law, Acts and Laws already in existence must be interpreted to conform to EU Law and the State has to ensure that all EU law is transposed and implemented accurately. This puts a huge strain on the Courts whilst ruling, thus making a mockery of Precedent as any case incorporating EU legislation can only be considered using the purposive approach, in order that EU directive can be met. So then, has Britain reserved its sovereignty as promised? As a result of joining the EU English law has seen the introduction of EU primary legislation i.e. treaties, e.g. the treaty of Rome. It has also signalled the introduction of secondary legislation, which includes regulations, directives, decisions and recommendations and opinions. The introduction of treaties and directives etc has prompted an increase in the force and quantity of human rights law in England, but some say for the cost of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK. This has lead many to believe in the so-called 'Eurocrats' trying to govern the whole of Europe without any consultation of it's member states. EU secondary legislation has many different levels, which allows for the correct weight to be applied to each 'Act' for use in the EU. ...read more.

Middle

Failure on behalf of the Member State to incorporate a Directive within the allotted time scale meant that a claim could proceed against the Italian Government for compensation, obscuring the distinction between horizontal and vertical effect. But the cost of challenge is great, tying up lengthy periods of Court time and vast sums of money. These rights are not always maintained, the UK, for example, refers fewer cases than the other member states to the European Court of Justice since the lower Courts are allowed to exercise discretion on referral. The EU giveth, the Government taketh away. It can be thought that the increased introduction of direct effect is a good thing as it allows for more injustices to be rectified, or not caused at all. Direct effect will also have repercussions upon English judges as they may feel that their rulings are more vulnerable to being challenged by the EU. UK supremacy was confronted by the EU in the case of Factortame (R v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame (No. 3) [1996]) (1991) in which the EU directly overruled the UK in a fishing quotas dispute. With the joining of the EU some think that England should have secured it's own supremacy. They would say that England should be able to rule and govern it's in any way it pleases, and that the de-centralisation of Britain's parliamentary and governmental powers was a bad idea as it allows people who were not voted for or selected by us to represent us on a international scale let alone produce laws and regulations by which we have to live. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thirdly an independent watchdog has been put into place over parliament (preliminary opinion in the E.C.J) And lastly when English legislation is written it is becoming more and more Eurocentric to stay in line with the rest of Europe, this is controversial and can be thought of as not a very good idea. It could be said that we are losing our heritage and becoming less British and more European. It would appear that we are looking at total entrenchment of all of Britain's institutional customary Law. It would also seem that, with the continuing developments of the EU, the acceptance of the Treaty of Nice 2001 and the inauguration of a possible 12 extra States, that the need for further legislation will be necessary. Legislation upon legislation, and all needing to be interpreted, implemented and ruled upon in unison with what (Europe) intends. I think instead of using the term 'crippling', I would sooner consider Europe's invasion of Britain's Law methodology as 'modernising'. Perhaps the UK's methods of case law, derived from religion and precedent are ineffectual and certainly with the proposal of a Human Rights Bill, could be seen to detract from what the impending Act could offer. But, there must surely come a time when there is so much Law, when we are so encompassed by Rules and Regulations, that any Human Rights Act would be immaterial. Indeed, as we are slowly, but surely forced to become Europeans, The will, and Law of Europe seems destined to overthrow Britain's domestic system of the Law entirely, compelling us to adopt a Monist approach as apposed to Dualist. ...read more.

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