Public Law - Sources of UK Constitution -Acts of Parliament II

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 12-11-20 16:43
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  • Sources of UK Constitution -Acts of Parliament II
    • Public Order Act 1986
      • Relevant to civil liberties
      • Allows limitations to be placed on rights of citizens to hold marches and meetings in public places
    • Human Rights Act 1998
      • Incorporates European Convention on Human Rights into our domestic law
      • Marks fundamental change in protection of human rights by allowing citizens to raise alleged breaches of their human rights before domestic courts.
    • Acts of devolution (e.g. Scotland Act 1998)
      • Created devolved system of government in various parts of UK
      • Acts establishing a Scottish Parliament and assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland have decentralised process of government and given greater autonomy to these parts of UK
    • Constitutional Reform Act 2005
      • Transferred Lord Chancellor's powers as head of judiciary to Lord Chief Justice
      • permitted House of Lords to elect its own Speaker
      • Provided for creation of Supreme Court
        • to replace Appellate Committee of House of Lords
      • Created new body (the Judicial Appointments Commission)
        • to oversee appointment of judges
    • Act of constitutional importance
      • enacted by Parliament in same way any other Act of Parliament
        • No special procedure or majority required
      • Acts not 'entrenched'
        • Each Act may be repealed by an ordinary Act of Parliament, just like any other statute
        • No other special procedure required for its repeal
        • Some recent Acts of Parliament
          • e.g. Scotland Act 2016
          • Contain provisions stating Parliament will not legislate to achieve certain aims without holding referendum on relevant issue.
    • Easy for Parliament to make significant changes to constitution
      • Due to having unwritten constitution
      • In absence of written constitution setting out a 'higher' form of law against which all legislation may be judged
        • And also as result of development of doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy
        • Parliament may enact such legislation as it wishes and our courts cannot strike down such legislation as unconstitutional
      • Factors which limit Parliament's ability to change constitution tend to be:
        • Political
        • Economic
        • Social
        • Tend not to be strictly legal


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