The Power of the Doctrine of Brititsh Parliament Sovereignty

924 Words4 Pages
The doctrine of parliament sovereignty has been identified as the core principle of the British’s uncodified constitution. This doctrine is mainly regarding the relationship of the Parliament and the courts. This doctrine states that Parliament has unlimited legal power to enact any law and that it cannot be overridden by any other body.

The European Union, which was known originally as European Coal and Steel Community, was created during the times of the Second World War. In 1972 the European Communities Act, which incorporates Community law into the UK’s legal system, was enacted, bringing Britain into the European Union (EU). The EU’s role is to integrate key economic and increase social and security policies of its member states. With that, it aims to create a powerful European political unit. Its constitution is always evolving which aims to increase integration within its member states.

The principle of direct effect and supremacy was then indirectly incorporated. The European Communities Act 1972 makes certain Community Law directly binding in the UK and is to be enacted either by statue or by regulation. This can be described as the principle of direct effect which allows Community Law to confer rights and duties on individuals and that domestic courts are to decide cases consistently with the principles set by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The decision of the ECJ in Costa v. ENEL has established the supremacy of European Law in the event of a conflict with the domestic law of a member state as ECJ stated, “The transfer by the states from their domestic legal system to the Community legal system of the rights and obligations arising under the Treaty carries with it a permanent limitation of their sovereign r...

... middle of paper ...

...ll sovereign as it has rights to pass laws that are politically incorrect or absurd. Despite the remoteness of the chance of such laws being passed, Parliament can still legally pass it. The last point as to why Parliament is sovereign is because future Parliament is not bound by its predecessor. An example is that only three articles out of the 37 articles of the Magna Carta still remains today.

To conclude, by being a member of the EU, it has certainly affected the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty but merely limited to a certain extent. The UK, looking at their historical background, has given great importance to its sovereignty. The UK could withdraw as a member of the EU but that would not be advisable as a great percentage of their trade depends on the Union. After all, according to Sir Ivor Jennings, “the supremacy of parliament is a legal fiction”.

    More about The Power of the Doctrine of Brititsh Parliament Sovereignty

      Open Document