• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Can parliament bind it's successors with the provision in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, s.1 (1)?

Extracts from this document...


Can parliament bind it's successors with the provision in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, s.1 (1)? The problem to be addressed in this essay is the issue of the British Parliament's ability to bind its successors, with particular attention to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 s.1 (1). Parliament's ability to limit its successors also relates to other issues which I will be looking at in detail. I will be focusing on a brief history of parliamentary supremacy and to what extent it is supreme, considering both the positives and negative of this. It seems appropriate to briefly look at the opinions of AV Dicey as well as cases where some think Parliament has bound its successors or has been bound by its predecessors. I will also be looking at the theory of 'manner an form' in terms of legislation and how this applies to the provision in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, s.1 (1). I defend the thesis that parliament should not be able to pass legislation which, in any way, limits or redefines it's successors, although in this case it becomes apparent that this might have occurred in relation to the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Can Parliament limit its successors? In the case of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, we must first look at s 1(1). ...read more.


it was contrary to the law of God or the law of nature or natural justice, but since the supremacy of parliament was finally demonstrated by the revolution of 1688 any such idea has become obsolete.2 Through Dicey, the unlimited powers of Parliament to legislate can be placed in three main headings; the power to make any law whatsoever, one manner of law-making and the absence of power to bind succeeding Parliaments.3 Parliament now appears to be completely supreme; all legislation now takes precedence over and could change the prerogative or common law. Any piece of legislation which parliament wishes to accomplish, after being received through the appropriate channels, can become Law in our state. This is seen to have both negative and positive aspects. Negative aspects include that 'there is no person or body of persons who can, under the English constitution, make rules which override or derogate from an Act of parliament, or which(to express the same thing in other words) will be enforced by the courts in contravention of an Act of Parliament.'4 The positive entails that parliament may legislate over any topic, but that parliamentary rulings and enactments must be recognised by the courts. It can however be explained that simply because statute law is superior this does not mean that Parliament may legislate upon anything, as will be shown. ...read more.


Future parliaments may be bound by past Acts in terms of the Act's inclusion of 'manner and form' of legislation, in as much as it may include certain conditions for the Act to be repealed such as achieving a two-thirds or certain percentage majority. Although, future Parliaments may choose to repeal the provisions, they may even choose to completely ignore the later Acts. Overall, Parliaments cannot bind their successors, it is a fundamental rule that this cannot happen. Parliaments are supreme. Past Acts made by past Parliaments are not relevant to the present Parliament, in that any Acts which they wish to change can be changed, when passed through the appropriate channels in Parliament. New Parliaments are sovereign and cannot be sovereign if they were to be bound by predecessors, they must be able to legislate effectively without any limits placed upon them. 1 Dicey, The Law of the Constitution, pp 39-40 2 British Railways Board v Pickin (1974) AC 765 3 Dicey pp 61 4 Dicey quote, Hilaire Barnett Constitutional and Administrative Law, pp 71 5 Vauxhall Estates Ltd v. Liverpool Corpn. (1932) 1 KB 733 6 Ellen Street Estates Ltd v. Minister Of Health (1934) KB 590 7 'the doctrine of implied repeal' Hilaire Barnett, Constitutional and Administrative Law, pp 39 8 Constitutional and Administrative Law, AW Bradley and KD Ewing, pp 61 ...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 United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom essays

  1. priministers power

    * The PM has more information than his colleagues. 'Whitehall is a huge network of lines of communication, all converging on 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister can keep abreast of progress by studying Cabinet and committee papers - alone among ministers he gets the papers of all committees -

  2. How, and with what success, have governments attempted to improve the provision of health ...

    Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley too believes a third can be saved on the cost of the annual �.4.5bn cost of QUANGO's and NHS management in England. British Medical Association's (BMA) chair man Dr. Ian Bogle believes in consensus with The NHS Modernisation Board that more investment still has to

  1. Unit 1 - Example of Evaluations

    The colour scheme and banner used on the website make the record label instantly recognisable and the use of a white background makes the main information stand out. Another thing that is good about this document is the concise information, there is enough to explain and highlight things yet it is not overpowering to its audience.

  2. Evaluate the above statement and consider the extent to which you think it is ...

    The House of Lords is a non-elected body (at least in the sense that its members are not by the voting public) and therefore could in theory be largely independent of political considerations. In a state in which the Prime Minister controls the House of Commons, which, as leader of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work