Sovereignty is used to describe the idea of the power of law making unrestricted by any legal limit, Parliamentary sovereignty is part of the uncodified constitution of the United Kingdom. It dictates that Parliament can make or unmake any laws as it is the ultimate legal authority in the UK. Parliament is still sovereign as it can make law on any matter and it has legislative supremacy. However parliamentary sovereignty can be questioned due to the membership of the European Union and the Human Rights Act. Parliament can make laws on any matter due to Dicey in ‘Law of the Constitution (1885).’ He said that ‘in theory Parliament has total power.
The doctrine of parliament sovereignty has been regarded as the most fundamental element of the British constitution. It can be summarised in three points: that parliament has the power to make any law they wish; that no parliament can create a law that a future parliament cannot change; that only parliament can change or reverse a law passed by parliament. Parliamentary Sovereignty thus gives unconditional power to the Westminster Parliament. A.V. Dicey describes it as ‘the dominant characteristic of our political institutions',and ‘the very keystone of the law of constitution'.
The UK has a unitary constitution, where all power and authority resides in Parliament. They can make or unmake any law but cannot bind future parliaments. Although the increased use of referendums and membership of the EU may lead people to argue that Parliamentary sovereignty is being diminished. The rule of law is also a key part of the UK constitution, it’s based on the principle that no one is above the law and no one can be punished without a trial. It underlies the UK constitutions and limits the government.
According to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, Parliament is the only body that can make law for the UK. No other body can overrule or change the laws which Parliament has made. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty however cannot be found in statute law, it is part of another source of the constitution, common law. The reason it is not part of statute law is that Parliament can pass, change, or repeal any law it likes and is not bound by laws of previous Parliaments. Therefore if parliamentary sovereignty was an Act of Parliament it would be possible for Parliament to repeal it and destroy the principle.
Sovereignty is in essence ultimate and unchallengeable power, the location of sovereignty in the UK in recent years has changed from one single power and devolved into many unions, treaties and nations within the UK and EU. Parliament is the only body that can make law in the UK. No other authority can overrule or change the laws which the parliament has made. This, then gives the statute law more power and priority over the other sources of the constitutions. This then allows the parliament to change or repeal any law it wants and is also not bounded by the laws made by the previous parliaments.
This changed the way power was distributed within the government, due to the Constitution. Great Brittain has an unwritten constitution unlike the U.S.A. Instead Britain's laws, policies and codes are developed through statutes, common law, convention and more recently E.U law. This means that the British constitution has no single document, which states principles and rules of a state. The Constitution is one document explaining all of the principles and rules of the government, and how power is separated in the goevernment.
This is also supports the idea that it was not revolutionary because William did not immediately assume Kingship, and instead called an assembly and a Parliament to sort out lawfully who should be King or not. In the case of a revolution, the actions of those taking over are usually much more decisive and radical. Another important factor that does not support the Glorious Revolution view is the fact little changed after it took place. A monarch still reigned and the Declaration of Rights that were read before William and Mary accepted the throne in February 1689, still kept the monarch’s prerogative rights and there was no repeal of the 1661 Militia Act that Parliament found particularly vexing. A revolution usually means a complete change that replaces the old order with a new order.
In an absolute society, the only person who could change the powers of the monarch was the monarch him/herself. As such, it is difficult to think in terms of an absolute monarch diluting his/her own authority and power. Quotes attributable to Louis XVI "I have no intention of sharing my authority" "L'état, c'est moi." (I am the state) "One king, one law, one faith." "The interests of the
Is parliament still sovereign? ‘Parliamentary sovereignty is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty, and is supreme over all other government institutions, including executive or judicial bodies.’ It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important part of the UK constitution.
Is Parliament Still Sovereign? Sovereignty is the idea that someone or something has ultimate political power and is the source of all political authority, up until the 17th century the queen/king was said to be sovereign, however this is no longer the case the only anomaly to this is that of the Queen being described as sovereign, this is just tradition and has no effect on power. In the UK parliament is said to be the holder of most of the sovereign power’s, because of the absence of a supreme constitution it Is said that Parliament has legal sovereignty, this means that Parliament can exercise many powers e.g. laws etc., however in the past few years this has come under scrutiny from many politicians alike at whether Parliament is actually sovereign. One way in which people believe Parliament has lost sovereignty is because of the EU, It is stated that EU law takes precedence over UK law an example of this is that of the Factortame case, this was when in 1990 a Spanish fishing company started fishing in the UK waters, when the UK government tried to take this company to court, the EU stepped in and said that under the Treaty of Rome act they had no authority and so the case was dropped and the Spanish ships were allowed to ship in these waters once more.