To What Extent Does Parliament Retain Its Sovereig

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Recent changes to the UK constitution have raised questions as to whether or not parliament retains its sovereignty as the supreme law making body. These changes include the UK becoming a part of the European Union and the devolution of Scotland and Wales, although theoretically these should not affect the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. Parliamentary sovereignty has always been the basis in the UK constitution. AV Dicey set out the definitive statement of parliamentary sovereignty in his Introduction to the Study of the Law and the Constitution, 1885. This identified three elements to the UK constitution: 1. Parliament has the right to ‘make or unmake any law whatever.’ This would imply absolute sovereignty of Government as, effectively; they can do what they wish. 2. No person or body is recognised by the law as having the right to override or set aside an Act of Parliament. No-one is able to bypass the law and everyone will be made accountable for their actions. 3. No Parliament may blind its successors. Future parliaments can amend or appeal any earlier law. Any government at any given time can change what they wish. These elements infer that any parliament has complete sovereignty and power over everyone and the laws they wish to pass. Historically, Scotland has always demanded more power over its own parliament. The passing of the Scotland Act in 1998 gave Scotland control over its own health care and education. This can be seen by Scottish elderly patients who have free healthcare, unlike the rest of the UK due to Scottish Parliament implementing this. In addition, hunting with dogs was banned before the rest of the UK in 2002. The Scottish Parliament have also been granted the power to change their tax rate by 3p/£ which has yet to be used. So if Scotland has power over these things then it could be assumed that Westminster has lost power in

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