Sources of Law

  • Created by: D.Knight
  • Created on: 10-10-19 10:38

Acts of Parliament

These are laws that are passed by the UK parliament. All parts of the UK parliament have to approve an Act of Parliament before it becomes law. 

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Judicial precedent

Laws established in a previous legal case by judges that is binding on or persuasive for a court/tribunal when deciding current or future cases with the similar issues/situation. This law is known as 'case law'. 

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Delegated Legislation

This is a law not passed as an Act of Parliament but by a government minister or a delegated person or body. This law cannot be amended but can be either totally rejected or approved. This can be a statutory instrument, byelaw, orders in council or laws made by devolved legislatures. 

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European Union Law

The laws made by the EU institutions takes precedence over UK domestic law while we are part of the European Union (the European Communities Act 1972).  

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European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The ECHR is international law which was incorporated into domestic law through the Human Rights Act 1998.  Courts must apply other laws in accordance with the Convention where possible, but where this is not possible, it is for Parliament and not the courts to change the law. The EU can require governments of Member States to introduce legislation in certain areas, and the law in those areas must be applied in accordance with EU legal principles (set out in the ECHR). 

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Statutory Interpretation

This is the process by which courts interpret and apply legislation (statutes). This is done where there are ambiguities and uncertainties in the wording of the pice of legislation, which needs to be resolved by judges- making common law. 

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