The Rule of Law

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  • The Rule of Law
    • Key principle of the UK Constitution in which justice is guaranteed for all
    • AV Dicey, constitutional expert, described it as one of the twin pillars of the constitution (parliamentary sovereignty is the other one)
    • According to AV Dicey, there are 3 main principles
    • No can be punished without trial
      • Happens in  most cases
      • Does not with terrorist suspects, since 2001 range of methods have been passed to let them be punished w/out trial
        • For example , being held for indefinite amount of time and having their assets frozen
      • In  practice ,  has been ignored since 2001
    • No one is above the law, all equal to the same justice
      • Some exceptions
      • The Monarch
        • Queen not called for the Paul Burrell case
      • Diplomats- diplomatic immunity
        • Libyan diplomat who shot Wpc Yvonne Fletcher
      • MPs
        • Some  MPs
        • Expenses scandal
    • Principles of the constitution result from judicial decisions not government ones
      • While the  decision of judges certainly have a part to play in defining the UK's constitutional arrangements, Parliament is sovereign and statue law remains supreme
      • Any legal precedent can be overturned by means of simple Act of Parliament
    • Threats to the rule of law
      • the activities of the Secret Service (after 9/11)
      • Removing "traditional rights"
        • Untitled
      • the attempt to remove an individual's right to trial by injury
      • Gagging clause signed by civil servants
        • After Clive Ponting and the Belgrano issue after the Falklands War
      • the Official Secrets Act


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