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

Public Law

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Public Law (I) In the late 19th century it was argued by many that Britain had no constitution, such as the French writer De Tocqueville as there is no legally written formal document containing the 'rules of the land'. However, a constitution does not need to be written down; "Constitutions are codes of rules which govern the allocation of functions, powers and duties among the various Government agencies and their officers, and define their relationship between them and the public"1. The British constitution, which comprises of many components in the form of doctrines and principles, achieves this. In the British constitution, a concentration of power exists legitimately with one of its central pillars being the quasi-legal principle of Parliamentary supremacy. This principle, which can be found in the common law in cases such as R v Kelly2 and Blackburn v A.G.3, means that Parliament has the right to make laws freely i.e. no one can say otherwise or challenge the validity. However, this fundamental part of our constitution is under threat, as our conception of Parliamentary supremacy makes it difficult for us to enter the European Union (EU) properly and encompass the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Furthermore, many see it as being taken over by a domination of the executive. ...read more.

Middle

Lord Denning initially took the view that once a statute has been passed, it is not for the courts to argue11, thus following the theory of Parliamentary Supremacy. However, as time passed the courts changed and began to implement EU law as supreme12 but leaving the question as to what would happen if Parliament wanted to over rule a piece of EU legislation unanswered. Currently, the authority on this problem comes in a series of cases known as the Factortame cases in which a conflict with the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 arose. On this case, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that while a domestic statute was in conflict with EU law, then the statute should be suspended and EU law prevail. This was upheld by the House of Lords on return and has been seen by many a dramatic constitutional change, removing the continued supremacy of Parliament. Adding to the undermining of Parliament was the courts decision that damages should be awarded to the parties who lost money due to loss of income because of the offending statute. All these points further undermine the theory of supremacy as it appears that the Government of 1972 have successfully bound any future Governments by incorporating EU law into Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the effects of the ECHR are minimal as Parliament can choose to ignore it at will, the effects of the European union are quite large, and only destined to get larger with the once unimaginable possibility of a United States of Europe now possible. Also, the effects of the slow increase in executive control are becoming more and more apparent with the pinnacle not yet reached. However, I believe that Parliamentary supremacy is still a fundamental aspect of the British constitution and is still very relevant today as without it our constitution would cease to exist and many aspects of our law are still based firmly upon it. 1 Finer, S. Comparing Constitutions (1995, Clarendon Press) 2 [1982] A.C. 665 3 [1971] C.M.L.R. 784 4 (1765) 19 State Tr 1029; 2 Wils 275 5 See section 3(1) of the convention 6 Wilson v First County Trust (No 2) [2001] ( the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry intervened) 7 [2002] EWCA Civ 1598 8 HC deb, 21st October 1998, col 1301 9 [1995] 1 CMLR 345 10 Marleasing SA v La Comercial Internacional de Alimentacion SA [1992] 1 CMLR 305 11 Felixstowe Dock and Railway Co v British Transport Docks Board [1976] 2 LIL rep 656 12 Macarthay v Smith [1979] ICR 785 13 [1943] 2 All ER 560 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Describe the formal process of statute creation in parliament.

    standing committees of 20-30 can carry out a more detailed scrutiny of the Bill making sure it is a good one.

  2. To what extent does the FOI legislation make the government more accesible to the ...

    This would have caused a great deal of embarrassment throughout government through bad press. Also because of the FOI Act discovered that nearly a third of the 2 million spent on Scotland's Malawi programme has gone on running costs rather than helping those in need.

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    Indeed one may even stand the chance of being offered the post of a minister or state minister as a reward for it! The issue of the assault on minorities is therefore enmeshed in a complex hub of power relation, which characterizes the current nature of politics in Bangladesh.

  2. 'THE SEPERATION OF POWERS: FACT OR FICTION UNDER THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION?'

    In some countries, elections are held separately for the legislature and the executive; in the UK, these roles are fused.

  1. Legislators have three essential functions: representation, law-making and control of the executive. How does ...

    years, with more than 20,000 questions being posed during the 1987-90 Bundestag term. Understandably, the opposition parties are active in exercising the parliamentary right to scrutinize government actions. Law-making Most of the legislative work in the Bundestag is the product of standing committees.

  2. Public Law 1 Assessed Essay 1

    The Conservative government in both cases (1) and (2) can repeal the Act by normal 'simple majority' from both the House of Commons and House of Lords followed by royal assent from the Queen.Although, with only a slight overall majority in the House of Commons, if Conservative MP's are not loyal to the commitment of the party towards destroying the Lancashire Assembly, gaining a 'simple' majority may be difficult.

  1. A) Explain what the phrase Parliamentary Supremacy

    quote further suggests that even a group of individuals, like the court could not undermined the parliament's supremacy.

  2. Public Law

    It is a Cabinet government with parliamentary executive, in which the Law Lords act both as judges in judiciary and as legislators, furthermore, the Lord Chancellor is a member of all three branches-Minister in Executive, Head of Judiciary and member of the House of Lords in it's legislative capacity.

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