PUBLIC LAW ASSIGNMENT
The parliament in the UK is divided into two houses which are, the house common and the house of lords. Both houses are important the legislative process should have both house’s approval in addition to the royal assent. Based on the parliamentarian perspective, the two Houses worked with the king to exercise absolute power while representing the nobility and the common people. However, it is argued that Parliamentary sovereignty is central to the UK constitution, because the parliament has the function of the legislative and law-making power, abolish, and amend the law in the United Kingdom by the monarch’s assent. Dicey defines parliamentary sovereignty into two parts, he said “The principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty means that neither more nor less than this, normally, that Parliament…. Has, under the English constitution, the right to make any law whatever; and further, that no person or body is recognized by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament”. In addition, legislative supremacy implies that no one else should be granted the authority to amend the law. However, the functional role of parliamentary sovereignty was, that parliamentary sovereignty has a quite limit. This essay will argue the legal and political limits to Parliament’s legislative power. In particular, the process of exiting the European Union. The essay will firstly, talk about how joining the EU affects the UK, Secondly, the different hypotheses to settle the dispute, thirdly the withdrawal and some cases related to Brexit.
The United Kingdom joining the European Union had a side effect on the legislative power of parliamentary sovereignty. Several rules could affect the sovereignty of the parliament in the UK and might say that it also was one of the reasons why the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union. However, one of those rules the European Union court of justice has ruled is, that the EU law supersedes any inconsistencies in member states’ national laws, “the law stemming from the Treaty, an independent source of law, cannot because of its very nature be overridden by rules of national law, however, framed . . . without the legal basis of the Community itself being called into question”. The Brexit referendum campaign in 2016 was heavily influenced by complaints from opponents of Britain’s membership in the EU about the erosion of both national and parliamentary sovereignty. The fact that many laws were passed at the European level under the applicable treaties as a result of Britain’s EU membership had an impact on the role of Parliament without a doubt. Every nation that is a part of the EU, however, must follow the same rules. This situation was criticized by many people in the UK.
There are different hypotheses of how that dispute was settled. The first one is that the United Kingdom government provided the initial step when it passed the European Communities Act in 1972. This mandated that all future laws be interpreted in conformity with European law, protecting the authority of Parliament. According toLord Hailsham the Lord Chancellor at the time, it was “abundantly obvious, not merely that this Bill does nothing to qualify the sovereignty of Parliament but that it could not do so”. But not even Dicey had such a radical opinion. He thought that a king may abdicate if they so choose. For instance, just though a monarch had sovereign authority would not prevent him from ceding that authority if he so desired.
Before the withdrawal from the EU, there was an important constitutional change in the UK in 2016. it was stated by professor Takis Tridimas at King’s College, London, that an important constitutional event in the United Kingdom since the revival of the monarchy in 1660 reflected in the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum because it demonstrated that the issue of Europe, the sovereignty of the people outweighed the sovereignty of Parliament. Even though the referendum was just advisory legally speaking, the government pledged to abide by the outcome, which was viewed as crucial by the majority of MPs. Consequently, a policy that is opposed by both the administration and the parliament has been in effect since June 2016. In our extensive constitutional history, there has never been a situation like that. Therefore, Europe is to blame for introducing a novel idea—the sovereignty of the people—into the UK constitution. On this matter, the populace effectively serves as a third chamber of parliament, giving orders to the other two. Currently, the people, not Brussels, are limiting Parliament’s authority. Therefore, it is obvious that public opinion is a matter that could change the structure of the parliament and affect its sovereignty.
Both Miller cases (1) and (2) are clear examples that could show the legal and political limits of the parliamentary sovereignty power. However, Miller case (2) is mostly about the lawfulness of the advice the prime minister gave to the Queen to prorogue the parliament’s sovereignty for five weeks. The prorogation removes Parliament’s capacity to act as it sees fit on public policy matters connected to the preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union—especially when time is extremely important due to the approaching date for that withdrawal. It has the consequence of discouraging Parliament from passing laws and carrying out its oversight duties, such as debating topics, and getting information from reports of parliamentary committees, which help it decide whether and how to pass laws in relation to those matters of public policy and questioning ministers. However, this case shows that in the withdrawal process, the parliament was about to stop for several weeks from using its power to amend the withdrawal treaty and do other important functions. All over, the parliament did not prorogue because that advice was unlawful. Since the prorogation of Parliament will substantially impair parliament’s ability to carry out its duties for a sizable period without cause, the Prime Minister behaved illegally.
To summate the essay, the parliament sovereignty does have political and legal limits which were clear in some cases, referendums, and withdrawals from the European Union. Also, the rules that the European Union creates effect the sovereignty of the parliament which found wide criticism from the public.