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To what extent is parliament sovereign?

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To what extent is parliament sovereign? (20) Sovereignty is the claim to be the ultimate political authority. Parliament is sovereign, however it is not supremely sovereign. There are many major factors why parliament cannot claim supreme sovereignty. Parliamentary sovereignty is undermined by these factors. One of these is the "mass electorate". Every five years there is a general election. These elections empower the people to decide which party is elected into power. This immediately makes parliament less sovereign, as they are passing the power to the people. ...read more.


The government is formed from the largest party in the house. Most laws are now initiated more by the government than by parliament. This further reduces parliamentary sovereignty. There has also been outside pressure from pressure groups, which contributes to the reduction o parliamentary sovereignty. One of these pressure groups was the Countryside Alliance. They put tremendous pressure on parliament to revise its ban on fox hunting. There has also been pressure from the trade unions. They ended up forcing parliament to amend the 1971 industrial relations act. ...read more.


Devolution means the giving of power to other devolved bodies. Finally, the E.U probably plays the largest role in reducing parliamentary sovereignty. As far as law is concerned, EU law takes precedence over UK domestic law. EU legislation also becomes law within the UK automatically, regardless of what the UK parliament wants. It can also be said that the SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice treaties reduce parliamentary sovereignty as they remove some decision making from parliament. Overall it can be seen that while parliament do enjoy sovereignty in some areas of the constitution, there are actually many factors that reduce parliamentary sovereignty. Some of these do in fact have quite a large influence on the extent of parliamentary sovereignty. ...read more.

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