Public Law Essay 1

Submitted By hspyeung
Words: 895
Pages: 4

This essay will examine the modern position of the parliamentary sovereignty, as on the national and the EU aspects. The essay would discuss about how influential of the parliament among other fundamental principle of the UK constitution. Then to examine the challenges toward the parliamentary sovereignty, which brought by the EU.

First of all, we will look into the national situation first. This essay believed that parliamentary sovereignty is a constitutional relic, and still the most essential fundamental constitutional principle within the UK constitution, when compared to other principles or sources of the UK constitution, such as Royal prerogative, case law, and custom.

As the parliament is the highest legislative body in the UK, it has the power to legislate on any matters. And the future parliament would not bound by the present one, as it assume that the future parliament would enjoy the same supremacy

In Respect to the Royal prerogative, it is a historical but relatively less important principle. As it is largely on ceremonial purpose only in these days, which do not have many tangible authorities given to the Monarch. For instances, the Monarch was allowed to dissolve the parliament through royal proclamation, until the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 has been commenced. Which reaffirmed that the principle of parliamentary sovereignty.

Case law has been developed since the common law system existed, its one of the most relic source of the UK constitution, however, it is not as influential as legislation, as the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty made the Act of parliament become the supreme legal document, which the Court of law have to follow them even if there are binding precedent to be bound by. Also, the concept of retrospective legislation made it clear that the Parliament is the highest legislative body, which has the power to reverse the decision reached by the Court, which could been see in Burmah Oil Co v Lord Advocate1, where the Court has granted the company compensation for the destruction made by the British troops during the second world war, however, the parliament decided to overruled the decision by implementing the War Damage Act 1965, in order to avoid the similar nature of claims. It is apparently that Act of parliament could prevail the judiciary decision when there is conflict in between.

Therefore, the essay believed that the principle of parliamentary sovereignty is still prevalent on the national basis; it enjoys the supremacy among other fundamental principles or sources with the UK constitution.

On the second half of the essay, it would be discussing about the external factors that influencing the UK constitution, especially to the principle of the parliamentary sovereignty.

In 1973, UK has joined the European Union. With implementing the European Communities Act 1972, the UK constitution has been challenged ever since, and as the supremacy of the Parliament had been affected the most. The communities Act has given the EU power to legislate on behalf of the country in some areas of law, based on the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), there are two areas of law that EU can legislate on, which are the exclusive and shared Competence, matters fallen into the field of exclusive competence, are no longer in control by the EU member states themselves (such as the common commercial and agriculture fisheries and transport policy), but to bound by the EU legislation, which means the UK had given up their