• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8

Parliamentary Supremacy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Supremacy of Parliament is still relevant and evident today as it was when A. V. Dicey wrote' the Law of the Constitution' in 1885. Discuss this proposition in light of any developments in the United Kingdom constitution. A.V. Dicey described Parliamentary Supremacy also referred to as sovereignty, in the 'Law of the Constitution, 1885' as meaning; 'Neither more nor less than this, namely, that Parliament thus defined has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatsoever; and further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside legislation of Parliament1. From this three rules can be extracted. Firstly, parliament is the supreme law making body and may enact laws on any subject matter; secondly, no parliament may be bound by a predecessor or bind a successor; and finally no person or body, including a court of law may question the validity of parliament's enactments2. If all three rules are apparent within Parliament, then following Dicey's view there is legal sovereignty. Nevertheless, Dicey did acknowledge that Political sovereignty wasn't held by Parliament, but in fact lay 'with the people'3, and that there may be political restraints that inhibit the exercise of parliamentary power. ...read more.

Middle

However, it has been regarded as 'inapplicable' by some senior judges as in the case of Thoburn v Sunderland City Council (2002)15, when dealing with 'statutes of major political importance', for example the ECA 1972 and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998)16. There is a debate over the Acts of Union, and their effect on parliamentary sovereignty. Professor JDB Mitchell reflected on Article 1 of the Act of Union with Scotland Act 1706 that stated that England and Scotland will 'for ever after be united'. Mitchell argued that this meant that new parliaments were 'born unfree' as the Acts of Union form a 'higher law' which binds and limits the powers of parliament17. However, the Act of Union with Scotland 1706 has changed several times, in particular through religious pressures. The Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1707 has been altered significantly with the introduction of new acts 'to reflect greater religious toleration'18. Similarly the Act of Union with Ireland 1800 was declared to 'last forever', although in 1949 independence was granted to southern Ireland, but the UK retained Northern Ireland as part of 'His Majesty's dominions'19. The third rule that, no person or body, including a court of law may question the validity of parliament's enactment's, essentially means that ...read more.

Conclusion

However it has become established as a 'yardstick against which all actions of government may be judged'29. Nonetheless, the Act was passed by Parliament, therefore by a simple majority vote it can just as easily be repealed or amended. It would seem that there have been many changes within Parliament that have been said to nullify Dicey's view of Parliamentary Supremacy, such as devolution, the ECA 1972 and HRA 1998. However by looking at the creation of these acts, it is said that as Parliament has signed up to them it can therefore remove itself, legally, clearly following Dicey's first rule that Parliament can make and unmake any law. One of the prerequisites for the devolution of Scotland is that UK Parliament can make law for Scotland, and the Acts of Union, although believed to be binding, have been amended several times, therefore still complying with Dicey's second rule. The HRA 1998 only places an obligation on Parliament, of which there is no legal requirement to follow. Therefore if Parliament legislates contrary to Community Law, the judges have to follow it, thus following Dicey's third rule of Parliament being unquestionable. Conclusively, although Parliamentary supremacy has developed and changed, it is still as legally relevant now as it was when A.V. Dicey wrote 'the law of the constitution' in 1885. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree English Legal System 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 University Degree English Legal System essays

  1. Discuss the extent to which the doctrines of direct effect and supremacy can be ...

    (EC Manual 02/03 Extract Unit C) The concept of supremacy of community law has been held to extend to the enforcement of community rights even if national courts are required to override national legislation. (Walker & Ward 1994, p.100). Referring to the original question above, the doctrine of direct effect

  2. Describe the legal and constitutional framework of Northern Ireland.

    These proposals are not statutory instruments, and are only added as an Appendix in the annual volumes of the United Kingdom statutory instruments, where as Parliamentary Orders in Council are made under authority of an Act of Parliament and are a statutory instrument.

  1. Parliamentary sovereignty

    the judges to tell it that it has acted wrongly by legislating incompatibly with a Convention right (Feldman, 1999). Section 6(1) requires public authorities to act in conformity with Convention rights, which may be feared as empowering courts to constrain public bodies (Elliott, 2000).

  2. Lon Fuller - professor of Jurisprudence at Harvard.

    By avoiding arbitration (conversation) a recalcitrant merchant thereby embraces either the hostility engendered by State courts or the violation of contractual agreements, i.e. property rights, which, in the case of agricultural products, with high perishability, would be tantamount to theft or wanton destruction.

  1. Parliamentary Sovereignty

    political and legal authority and it is not clear that the constitution of the UK, albeit unwritten and highly open to interpretation, allows for an action of this magnitude or nature. MacCormick presents a dual understanding of the sovereignty of parliament doctrine.

  2. Law Making in Parliament

    ('Samples of Lawmaking' (1962)). An explanation for such stridently opposing views has three main causes. The first is the historical development of law making, from being a body of essential legal tenets - the common law - developed case by case and kept fairly constant by the appication of precedent,

  1. Where judges do not follow precedent (or where they distinguish binding cases on dubious ...

    To nullify this decision, Parliament enacted the War Damage Act 1965 which retrospectively changed the law so that no such liability arose even in respect of events some 25 years before. Novel situations Some flexibility is certainly provided by cases which raise novel points of law never previously decided: where

  2. There is nothing in any way novel in according supremacy to the rules of ...

    One of the features of Parliamentary supremacy is that Parliament cannot bind its successors; this is held in place largely by the doctrine of implied repeal which states that, where an Act of Parliament conflicts with an earlier one, the later Act takes precedence.

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