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Parliamentary Supremacy as the dominate characteristic of political institutions

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  • Essay length: 1936 words
  • Submitted: 03/12/2010
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University Degree European Union Law

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The constitutional theorist A.V Dicey summarised Parliamentary Supremacy as "the dominate characteristic of political institutions", "the very keystone of the law of the constitution."i "The principle of parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this....the right to make or unmake any law whatever and further that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having the right to override or set aside the legislation of parliament."ii The magnitude of such an ideal on democratic society can be undisputed, but to explore its relevance today it is necessary to investigate its history and functional mechanisms.

The supremacy of Parliament was initially formed by the 1688 Bill of Rights. This followed a period of history known as the "Glorious Revolution." The function of the Bill was to provide dilution of the sovereignty of the monarch, following the forced abdication of James II. It was a time of upheaval and religious division. The power shift towards the sovereignty of parliament aimed to provide a more democratic solution, with representation by the people's representatives.

Parliamentary supremacy gives parliament, (which can be summarised as the 3 pillars of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and

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