Legislation enacts statutes. Statutes are passed laws. Some statutes are “new law” and some “supersede or adopt common laws” (Yelin, Samborn, 2012). Codification occurs when the Legislative branch of the government “adopts a common law” (Yelin, Samborn, 2012). Statutory law has priority over case law.
Judges inevitably make law in a sense whenever they interpret a statute or a piece of delegated legislation. According to the American realist John Chipman Gray (1839-1915), all law is made by judges and even a statute does not actually take effect as law until it is interpreted and applied by decisions of the courts. Judicial legal rules can be made through the operation of precedent. A common law rule is made when the judge justifies his decision on the facts of the case by using an existing legal principle or by devising a new principle or adapting an old one in novel situations. Precedent operates on the basis of judges following previous decisions.
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.
How effectively does the judiciary protect civil liberties in the UK? The UK judiciary has several methods at its disposal that provide an effective protection of civil liberties in the UK. However, in practice there are several shortcomings that make these protections weak in the face of Parliamentary pressure, which will be demonstrated in this essay. In terms of rights protections, perhaps the most important development in the protection of rights in the UK has been the installation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law via the Human Rights Act 1998. This act effectively has provided a concrete document that outlines the rights of citizens.
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.
Discuss the meaning of justice and consider whether justice is achieved in English Law (30 marks) There is an argument within the English Legal System as to the degree of convergence between law and Justice and its effects on the system. Law is a set of standardised procedures that regulate society and enforce basic rights. It was defined by John Austin as ‘the command of a sovereign enforced by a sanction’ and by Sir John Salmond as ‘the principles used in the administration of justice’. Laws are created by Parliament (the sovereign power). An example of a law created by Parliament is s.18 GBH under the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 which carries a sanction of up to life imprisonment.
n Great Britain laws are made in Parliament at Westminster. Its law-making status makes Parliament Great Britain's main legislative body - though the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament do have legislative capabilities. However, it is difficult to estimate what the impact of law making by the European Union will be in future years. To date, most EU laws that have been imposed on the UK (and other members off the EU) have concerned environmental issues. Some political parties in the UK, such as the UK Independence Party, fear that the EU will broaden its net with regards to areas where it will impose legislation.
Why does the UK have an uncodified constitution? The British Constitution is not contained in any one document nor is there such a thing as higher order law, entrenchment. The Constitution evolved over time and this evolution was first about qualifying the absolute power of the King. Magna Carta 1215 imposed limitations on Royal power. Bill of Rights 1689 laid out basic rights but mainly recognised the shift of power from the King to Parliament.
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION: INTRODUCTION:- This is the procedure by which Judges and or courts define laws or statutes made in parliament. They endeavour to bring to bear upon the verdict in the cases. The definition deals not only with the exact law, but with the judicial content and the words expressed in its application. In some cases there is ambiguity and vagueness within the contents and the easy misconstruction of words or clauses that outline or formulate statutes at times can be mix up. The incorrect interpretation can lead to the possible misuse when applying legislation, and the malfunction of justice.