Unit 2 Topic 1
- The most important principle in the British Constitution.
Sovereignty: absolute power or authority.
Parliamentary authority: Parl't is the supreme legal authority in the UK.
Comparison within the USA
- UK has an uncodified constitution.
- USA has a codified constitution.
- The USA constitution is entrenched (difficult to change).
- This means the USA has 'higher law'.
- They have rights that cannot be removed by the legislature.
- The supreme court can rule legislation to be unconstitutional. They can strike it down.
- 2nd amendment; right to bear arms.
- The judiciary interpret both common and higher (constitutional) law, including cases to do with the 2nd Amendment. They can strike down any proposed laws or amendments.
- "Parliament has the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament."
Three features of parliamentary sovereignty:
- Parliament can make law in any area.
- No Parliament can bind its successor (a Parliament cannot pass a law that cannot be changed or reversed by a future Parliament).
- No body except Parliament can change or reverse a law passed by Parliament.
Functions of Parliament