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Parliamentary Sovereignty
What is it?…read more

Slide 2

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What is it?
Based on the belief that...
Parliament can make or unmake any law
in the UK
Only Parliament can make UK law
Parliament cannot bind future Parliaments
Parliament has absolute and unlimited
legal authority
Prevents the Supreme Court acing as the guardian
of the constitution
There is an absence of codified
constitutions or higher law…read more

Slide 3

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Has the location of parliamentary
sovereignty shifted?
Undermined by several main factors:
Increasing European integration
Parliament, as a whole, has become
dominated by the Prime Minister…read more

Slide 4

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Increasing European Integration
Significant power delegated to the EU
European Communities Act of 1972 gave
European law precedence over UK law
A simple Act of Parliament ­ probably
backed up with a referendum ­ could
remove us from the EU
This would make Parliament technically still
sovereign, as do veto powers
Would be a difficult move to achieve in practice
Could end up being extremely expensive…read more

Slide 5

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Domination Over Parliament
Parliament has become dominated by the
Commons, the Commons by the majority
party, the majority party by the
government, the government by the
Cabinet and the Cabinet by the Prime
Possible to maintain that Parliament is not
sovereign and is therefore an `elected
However, in argument against this there are
examples of the fates of PMs and governments who
consistently and systematically appeared to repress
the power of Parliament, party and government…read more

Slide 6

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Government was elected to have
responsibility and make decisions for the
Public has nobody to hold accountable if decisions
based upon referendums go wrong
Referendums hand over great
responsibilities to the public
Many are too ignorant, ill-informed or prejudiced
Governments are unlikely to hold them
unless they're sure they will win
Undermines principle parliamentary sovereignty…read more

Slide 7

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