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Parliament is not sovereign anymore? Watch

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    Why do we still have to keep Dicey's doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty in mind when deciding cases?

    The Merchant Shipping Act 1998 was interpreted using European Law, so surely this contradicts the fact that Parliament is sovereign ? Other cases also show how judges are interpreting the Law by following EU opinions and decisions.

    Dicey states three points and all of the contradict the actual meaning.

    :confused:
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    Parliament can always decide to leave the EU and could, with an act of parliament, overrule those judges’ decisions assuming they have become part of Common Law. Therefore parliament is still sovereign
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    You can argue that parliamentary sovereignty is intact, and that there was simply a presumption against parliament voting to violate the European Communities Act.

    But it's a lot of old twaddle really. Parliamentary sovereignty is more or less dead, if ever it was alive.
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    What are Dicey's three points?
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    (Original post by Renner)
    Parliament can always decide to leave the EU and could, with an act of parliament, overrule those judges’ decisions assuming they have become part of Common Law. Therefore parliament is still sovereign
    I'll disagree. Any discussion at this point on PS will have to be under the assumption that UK remains in the EU. Of course in theory what you suggest is possible, not plausible in my view. Parliamentary sovereignty isn't totally gone, but neither can the UK claim its still there.
    Things have changed drastically since ex parte Factortame.

    I don't mean to undermine Diceyan theory, but everyone agrees that what one scholar propagated a looong time ago is not a concrete constitutional principle that is irrevocable. Let's not forget Dicey =/= British constitution.
    He said it fine. It made sense fine. Its true to a great extent, fine. Not be all, end all.

    To OP, no need to state too bluntly in your answer that PS is gone. there maybe some sentimental lawyers reading your answer. dont hurt their feelings. imagine you're about to tell them one of their family members have died. you don't want to tell them that in your introduction. build up to it!

    EDIT: not a member of UKIP are you?! :O :P
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    *There is also the issue of horizontal and vertical effect of statutes that conflict with the ECA-1972!
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    (Original post by L i b)
    You can argue that parliamentary sovereignty is intact, and that there was simply a presumption against parliament voting to violate the European Communities Act.

    But it's a lot of old twaddle really. Parliamentary sovereignty is more or less dead, if ever it was alive.

    I am shocked and appalled

    No wonder you aren't leader anymore
    :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by sweetgyal24)
    Why do we still have to keep Dicey's doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty in mind when deciding cases?

    The Merchant Shipping Act 1998 was interpreted using European Law, so surely this contradicts the fact that Parliament is sovereign ? Other cases also show how judges are interpreting the Law by following EU opinions and decisions.

    Dicey states three points and all of the contradict the actual meaning.

    :confused:
    You could argue that there are now two legal systems in operation in the UK; the EU and our own legal system. Dicey was clear on the point that Parliament could, being supreme, divest itself of sovereignty. In English public law parliament is still supreme and sovereign. When EU law is engaged it takes precedence by virtue of the Act of Parliament recognising our connection with the EU. When a UK statute is struck down it is not by virtue of English public law (where parliament is still sovereign) it is by virtue of the incorporated EU legal system. Parliament retains the ability to repeal the Act formalising our connection with the EU and in this sense retains sovereignty.

    On the other hand there are leading scholars who not only contend that Dicey is wrong now but that he was also wrong when he initially made his theories. They would argue that some of Dicey's assertions have no basis (for example that no Parliament can bind its successor. There is no logical obstacle on procedural constraints such as entrenched statutes). They would also argue, like you allude to, that the EU clearly does conflict with parliamentary sovereignty and that the theory of sovereignty propounded by Dicey can only be maintained subject to certain concessions including that EU law now takes precedence.
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    What use is parliamentary sovereignty? lol... I think the UK is the only liberal democratic country with such an idea. Parliament should be restricted to specific law-making areas, this works for more other countries.
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    The standard legal basis for EU law is that parliament has agreed to respect and has signed up to EU law. If EU law and national law contradict, parliament intended that EU law should prevail because parliament decided that when entering the EU on the basis that it is the only way an organisation like the EU could never work.

    Think of it this way. If parliament enters into a treaty - for example, the UK signs the nuclear non-proliferation treaty - does that stop it from being sovereign? If you enter into a contract whereby you promise to pay me £10 in exchange for a book, does that mean you aren't sovereign? No, its something you agree, and in the case of the UK something that the government could go back on (though would have to deal with the consequences).
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    I'd say Parliament remains sovereign. Just because Parliament hasn't left the EU doesn't mean it can't. There's absolutely nothing to limit its rights.
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    We could say we have sovereignty, but we don't really. We're not going to leave the EU realistically, unless the EU itself cocks up.
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    We can say we have sovereignty as there is nothing constitutionally or legally that prevents Parliament from declaring so. It's just the will that's lacking, primarily because the majority of MPs, and a thin majority of the population, still think it worth our while to be in it.

    If this were to change, then we'd be leaving.
 
 
 
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