English Law And European Law

Better Essays
There are three sources of the English legal system which are: European law, domestic legislation also known as acts of parliament and case law which is court made law. Out these three sources of the English legal system some are of greater importance than the others. As European law is a part of English law, there are bound to be conflicts between the two and I will go on to further discuss the manner in which the courts decide which law is superior, European or English law when a conflict does arise between the national law and European law.

Arguably the most important source of English law is European law. The UK joined the European Union (EU) in 1973 and since then European law has been a part of English law. Being a part of the EU means all member states must follow laws set by the EU, as the EU has the authority to create rules and regulations which all member states should abide to. The EU has a number of principal institutions which are: The council of European Union, European parliament, The European council, European court of justice and the European commission. These institutions pass laws which apply to the member states. The sources of European law in which laws are passed are through regulations, directives and decisions. Regulations are used as a way to promote consistency of laws throughout the EU. Once regulations are passed they take instant effect in all member states. Directives on the other hand aim to harmonise law between its member states, they attempt to make laws alike but not exactly identical. With directives member states can implement the law using their own methods. An example of an EU directive is the working time directive, which imposes a maximum amount of hours an individual can work. The last ...

... middle of paper ...

... murderers sentenced to life can be eligible for parole, but in some exceptional cases the murder may not be granted parole. The ECHR felt this treatment of not granting parole was regarded as inhuman and degrading treatment. The ECHR also felt that it was a direct violation of the European convention on human rights. The British Government were ordered by the ECHR to inform the council of Europe as to how they would go about applying the rule of allowing a potential review for parole to the convicted murderers. Even though the UK’s justice minister remained adamant about not giving in to pressure from the ECHR, it was stated by legal adviser to the prime minister that the UK would eventually have to succumb to the ECHR. In this case the conflict arose due to the UK’s strict code on parole, and also the fact they felt the ECHR should not have the final say on UK law.