Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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 of Lords) ...read more.

Middle

When a bill has been passed in identical terms in both Houses, it is presented for the royal assent, when Commissioners acting for the Queen indicate her approval of the proposal by the Norman French phrase "La Reyne le veult" (the Queen wishes it). If the Queen wished to signify disapproval, the tactful phrase would be "La Reyne s'avisera" (the Queen will consider it), but the royal assent has never been refused to any bill passed by both Houses since 1704 (when Queen Anne refused her assent to the Scottish Militia Bill), and most constitutional lawyers now believe that in any but the most extraordinary circumstances the sovereign is bound to assent. Without any doubt, the greatest limitations on Parliamentary sovereignty now arise from membership of the European Union. There is room for debate as to whether this is a good or a bad thing, and/or whether the advantages of membership outweigh the perceived disadvantage of lost sovereignty, but any sensible person must surely admit that Parliamentary sovereignty has been curtailed. There are three main ways in which this is evident. First, there is now an external body (or bodies, perhaps) ...read more.

Conclusion

Campbell & Fell v United Kingdom (1984) 7 EHRR 165, ECHR A number of prisoners involved in a prison riot were charged with disciplinary offences under the Prison Rules, and were sentenced by the Board of Visitors to a substantial loss of remission. No legal representation was permitted at the disciplinary hearing, and subsequent consultations with the prisoners' solicitors took place in the presence of a prison officer. The Court said this was in breach of Art.6, guaranteeing the right to a fair trial. The Government subsequently changed the Prison Rules to allow legal representation in cases where the prison authorities could impose a substantial loss of remission. A further limitation of Parliamentary sovereignty, some might say, is the use of referenda to decide major constitutional issues. The first national referendum in 1974 asked whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Community, and the Labour Party have all but promised a referendum on the single currency within the next five years. (In between times, there have been devolution referendums in Wales and Scotland.) Although Parliament retains the right to decide when and on what issue a referendum is to be held, and could in theory ignore the result, the reality is that there is a temporary transfer of power from parliament to the populace at large Claire Spencer Page 1 10/05/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Indigenous peoples, almost without exception, have been dispossessed and disregarded by those who 'discovered' ...

    The strength of the principle of self-determination with respect to colonial territories would seem sufficient to force any rational government to the negotiating table, from an international political if not a moral point of view. Were the Beotian government to show itself unwilling to facilitate realistic resolution via bilateral negotiations,

  2. "The main aims of the Land Registration Acts were to give certainty to title ...

    The law commission made recommendations in 1987 to amend this situation but their recommendations were not implemented. The law commission is clear that a registered minor interest should always take priority over an earlier, but unregistered minor interests. This would reverse Barclays Bank v.

  1. How has the European Court of Human Rights contributed to the protection of children's ...

    Greece120 where a girl's religious convictions were not considered, thereby disabling her to succeed claiming state infringement of her right by compulsory nature of military parade, for non-attendance of which she was punished. It may be arguable whether this is consistent with Art.

  2. Discuss whether incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into the domestic legislation ...

    Bailey et al state that this "situation respects the traditional doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty" as it does not give judges the power to get rid of UK legislation only to declare it incompatible.13 There has been a lot of concern surrounding section 10 of the act as it has been

  1. Outcome (3): Analyse the provisions relating to the police powers of arrest, search, seizure, ...

    (Bevan, 1991; 96). PACE authorizes a police constable to conduct a vehicle stop and search; nevertheless, they also have the responsibility to carry out a search in a professional and ethical manner under the Codes of Practice (code a). A police constables reasonable suspicion should not be based on personal factors alone.

  2. "In form, the Human Rights Act (HRA) is compatible with parliamentary sovereignty. In practice, ...

    far as it is possible to do so" (Wadham & Mountfield, 1999). In order to minimise the tension between protecting fundamental rights and the maintenance of Parliament's legislative sovereignty, subsections (b) and (c) accord no power to strike down or disapply legislation which is found to be incompatible with Convention

  1. Evaluate the extent to which the Human Right Act 1998 is consistent with the ...

    the legislation itself is so clearly incompatible with the Convention that it is impossible to do so.'10 Has the HRA 1998 changed the traditional understanding of Parliamentary Sovereignty? The sovereignty of the Parliament has not changed with the introduction of the Act.

  2. Should people have a right to privacy?

    If there was an effective privacy law then there would be no need for super injunctionsâ. After all evidence was considered, to me this suggests that a privacy law is needed in England yet Jeremy Hunt said: âI donât believe a privacy law is the way forward but weâre not ruling out the need for legislative changes.â 22(Hunt, 2011).

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.