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Flashcards in (4) Definitions & Origins Deck (7)
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What is Parliamentary Sovereignty?

The legally unlimited power of Parliament to enact legislation on any topic, in any form of words and at any time of their choosing.


What was Dicey's definition of Parliamentary Sovereignty?

‘The principle of parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this, namely, that Parliament … has, under the English constitution, 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’


What are the two distinct aspects of Dicey's definition?

Positive Aspect - Parliament can 'make or unmake any law'
Negative Aspect - '[n]o person or body ... [possesses] a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament'


What follows from Parliament's ability, according to Dicey, to make or unmake any law?

If there is no law Parliament is incapable of changing it can be said that no one statute can be considered more important than any other piece of primary legislation. Thus, there is no distinction between ordinary and constitutional laws.


How does Parliament's unfettered legislative power effect the idea of entrenchment?

The idea of entrenchment is also seemingly incompatible with Parliamentary Sovereignty, for under this doctrine Parliament are unable to impose such limitations upon itself.


How are Acts of Parliament immune to review by anyone bar Parliament itself?

In the UK, unlike in other countries, even the highest judicial body – the Supreme Court – lack the authority to invalidate legislation passed by Parliament, even where it appears to violate the terms of the constitution.


What did Jennings say about the power conferred upon Parliament by the positive and negative aspects together?

He said, that in theory - Parliament may remodel the British constitution, prolong its own life, legislate ex post facto, legalise illegalities … entirely without legal remedy’. In practice it's slightly more complicated.