Is Parliamentary Sovereignty limited?

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  • Created by: rebecca
  • Created on: 23-04-13 10:56
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  • How can we argue that Parliamentary Sovereignty is limited?
    • Parliament doesn't have sovereignty
      • Mass electorate
        • A V Dicey
          • Politics was for well off men of that time
        • Today there is a mass electorate for most men and women over 18
        • Local Government Finance Act 1988 that introduced poll tax was replaced by Parliament due to nationwide riots and demonstrations
      • People Power
        • Pressure groups, media and internet are effective
        • Exert a large amount of pressure on Parliament to alter or bring in legislation
        • More referendums since 1997
      • European Union
        • Joined EU in 1973
        • External source of law making
        • Can pass laws that are contradictory to parliament
      • Human Rights Act
        • Since 2000 Parliament should only pass laws that are compatible with the HUman Rights Act 1998
        • Parts of the European Convention of Human Rights andt was incorporated into this
      • Devolved assemblies
        • Scottish Parliament elected in 1999 has the right to make primary legislation in some areas
        • Devolution has taken away alot of parliaments sovereignty
      • Growth of executive power
        • Fusion of powers
        • First Past The Post is unrepresentative and gives the leading party too much power
        • Elective dictatorship
        • Even when popularity was sliding in 2005 Labour still held a majority of 67 seats in the Commons but only JUST 25% of the votes
      • Other outside influences
        • Law commissions
          • Permenanently set up in 1965 and is meant to be neutral
        • Royal commissions
          • Looks into issues, but has no power or force its conclusions on parliament
    • Parliament does still have legal sovereignty
      • Parliament still legitimises
        • All legislation has to pass through parliament
        • No statue law is effective unless it has been passed by Parliament as a body
      • Government can be removed
        • Vote of no confidence can remove them
          • Last time was 1979
      • European legislation
        • Can cancel the European cummunitries act 1972
        • Parliament scruitnises European legislationa nd remains in control
        • Judges can declare Parliamentary law incompatible but cannot strike down a statue
      • Devolution
        • Does NOT remove sovereignty from Parliament
        • Each assembly is established by an Enbabling Act issued by parliament which allows it to exist and limits its influence
        • The devolved powers can be taken back
        • 2010 Brown Government almost overrode the Stormont Assembly in Northern Ireland when the latter could not come to an agreement over policing powers in that province
      • Outside influences
        • Demonstrations can do nothing
          • Example, Irar War in 2003 done nothing to stop them
        • Recent arguments over the 10p tax or the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament still has overall decision
  • Royal commissions
    • Looks into issues, but has no power or force its conclusions on parliament


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