Sources Of The English Legal System

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In this essay, i will list four kind of sources of the English Legal System according to their constitutional importance and give some cases of each source. Parliament is responsible for creating most of the law applicable in the UK. Such law is contained in Acts of Parliament or Statutes. Increasingly, the content of much of this law is determined by the European Union, and in this respect Parliament does not have complete independence. Since the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights is directly enforceable in English courts.(textbook, p18) Parliament ==[S1The English legal system also governed by legislation, which is the formal enactment by Parliament of certain rules into a specific document containing the law]. Most English law is currently made by, or with the authority of, Parliament. [Legislation made by Parliament itself, in the form of “Act of Parliament”, is described as primary legislation because it is the highest form of the UK law. S2] Direct (parliamentary/primary) legislation comprises Acts of Parliament, created by the passage of a Bill through certain prescribed processes in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Indirect ( delegated) legislation is created by a body (usually a government department or local authority) which has been given the power to legislate by Parliament under an enabling Act. Primary legislation may be either”public” “private’ or “hybrid”. Public legislation affects the general law of the land, while private legislation is of a local or personal nature. Th Human Rights Act 1998, The House of Lords Act 1999, and Constitutional Reform Act 2005 are all examples of public Act of Parliament from recent years. The promoters of private legislation are often lo... ... middle of paper ... ...domestic law. Reluctance to comply may result in pressure from other member states. Since the Maastricht Treaty, a penalty may be imposed on any state which does not comply with a judgment. (p30) Example: An example of the effect of this can be seen in the case of Marshall v Southampton Health Authority [1986], whereby a woman (aged 62) was informed by her employers that she must retire with immediate effect. UK law at that time set out that a woman should retire at 60 and a man at 65. However, European law had been passed, namely the Equal Treatment Directive 1976, which cover the issue of retirement age and so the appellant took her case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) alleging a breach of this Directive. The ECJ held that the woman should succeed in her case as she was entitled to use the provision against her employer to stop them forcibly retiring her.

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