Parliamentary Sovereignty in the UK
Parliamentary sovereignty in the UK is a key principle that is embedded in the constitution. The provision gives the United Kingdom parliament, the authority to make, amend or repeal any law. The authority that is awarded to the parliament is absolute and there is not a single body including even the courts, which can overrule its decision when it comes to laws. In fact, parliamentary sovereignty is regarded as the most important component of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
The fact that the UK operates on an unwritten constitution has made it very challenging for the absolute powers given to the parliament to be overruled despite criticisms. The parliament is held as the center of power compared to other state institutions. In fact, this concept stipulates that even the current parliament should not come up with any law that would not be amended or changed by the future parliament. This authority of the parliament is unlimited and not subject to any change by any section of the government or even the people.
Whenever the UK parliament makes laws that are known as statutes, these laws are written down and passed onto the implementing agencies like the judiciary. However, there is no single document that details the concept of parliament sovereignty. As such, it can be said that the constitution of the UK is written in part and codified in whole.
The concept of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK has been in place for decades now, however, it has not been met with the same approach or spirit with which it was designed. There are numerous developments and concerns that have come up over the years threatening the way in which the concept of parliamentary supremacy is applied. According to most people, the provision is biased since it overrides the decisions of the judicial apparatus. Some people are of the view that parliamentary sovereignty gives just a fraction of the population, members of parliament too much power that can easily be misused for personal interests.
On the other hand, there are also reports that parliament has over the years come up with laws that limit the way in which the concept of parliamentary sovereignty is applied. Some of such kinds of laws include the Human Rights Act 1998 and the entry of the United Kingdom into the EU in 1972. Besides, the establishment of the UK Supreme Court in 2009 is yet another step that has been viewed as a way to curtail the application of the concept of parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom.
As much as the above developments may be viewed as fundamentally limiting the exercise of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK, it should be noted that the concept is theoretically accorded the absolute powers of repealing any of law that implements the changes.
Parliamentary sovereignty in the UK has evolved over the years. However, the success of its future hangs in the balance considering the many developments like the ones outlined above and globalization that continue to threaten its application.
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