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Is the UK Parliament still supreme with regards to enacting Acts of Parliament? Discuss.

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  • Essay length: 2078 words
  • Submitted: 26/10/2004
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AS and A Level Sources of Law

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Is the UK Parliament still supreme with regards to enacting Acts of Parliament? Discuss.

The idea of parliamentary sovereignty is that Parliament (or strictly, the Queen in Parliament) can make or unmake any law on any subject whatever, without any legal restriction. This idea was generally accepted as reality a hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago, but there must now be some doubt as to its truth. Parliament is certainly restricted by the UK's membership of the European Union, and other international treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights may also have put some limits on its freedom to legislate.

Nevertheless, the powers of Parliament are undoubtedly considerable. An Act of Parliament can determine the succession to the Crown, for example, and the Act of Settlement 1700 (which is still in force) transferred the line of succession from James II to Princess Sophia and her Protestant descendants. Similarly, the Abdication Act 1936 recognised the abdication of Edward VIII in favour of his brother who became George VI. Parliament can also alter its own composition and powers, as it did by the Parliament Act 1911 (which removed the veto powers of the House

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