Parliamentary Sovereignty Analysis

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Parliamentary Sovereignty is a major principle of the UK constitution. This means that parliament is the supreme legal authority and has the power to both make and break laws. Generally speaking no court, including the highest court in the land- the Supreme Court, has the power to overrule its legislation. Instead, it is the job of the Supreme Court to interpret and develop the law where necessary. This provides proof that the UK courts are subordinate to parliament. However, parliament themselves have introduced a number of developments that have actually raised questions as to whether parliament remains sovereign. These developments have limited or transferred their power to other authoritative bodies both inside and outside of the UK. It…show more content…
However, the difference of ratio of power between parliament and the courts had been slowly been decreasing for a while. For example, the effect of the UK entering the EU in 1973 and the introduction of the Human Rights Act in 1998 both decreased the legitimacy of parliamentary sovereignty. This transferred some of parliaments governing power outside of the UK to the European Union. However, the devolution of power to bodies such as the Welsh Assembly in 1987 and the Scottish Parliament in 1999 again transferred parliaments power to other bodies, but this time within the UK. Despite these changes it could be argued that these developments do nothing to fundamentally lessen parliamentary sovereignty due to parliaments ability to repeal any of the changes they have made. This suggests to me that it is the role and acts of parliament that have inspired and enabled the courts to take a similar role to the constitutional courts of other countries in…show more content…
Baron Montesquieu stated the importance of judicial independence by stating ‘there is no liberty if the power of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive '3 This quote states the importance of the Separation of Powers Doctrine.4 Until the 2005 Constitutional reform Act commanded changes to be made to the Lord Chancellors Office, the Lord Chancellor was a cabinet minister, member of the House of Lords and head of the judiciary. This meant that all three arms of the state (executive, legislature and judiciary) that should traditionally and in accordance to the Separation of Powers Doctrine be kept separate in order to keep the other arms in check and balance with each other, were tangled together. In 2005, the Constitutional reform act came into play which significantly modified the role of the chancellor meaning that he was no longer the head of the judiciary and also created the supreme court. The main purpose for the creation of the supreme court was to detangled the arms of state. By adapting the role of the Lord Chancellor, the judicial arm could be separated from the legislature arm. This gave the courts their own separate power. The regulations put in place by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 in regards to the appointment of judges furthered this separation of the three arms of the state and further increased the power given to the courts. However, although these changes
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