Dicey: Doctrine of Par Sov

Pages: 2 (331 words) Published: October 24, 2008


Dicey: Doctrine of par sov means that: Par has the right to make, unmake or amend any law and that such power is not open to challenge by any outside body. •No parliament may bind its successors or be bound by its predecessors, and the courts cannot question the validity of an Act of Parliament. •It is submitted however that there has be somewhat of an erosion of/modification to parliamentary sovereignty mainly due because of the UK’s membership of the European Community and the entrenchment of the ECHR with the HRA 1998

Scope of Parliamentary Sov
Par asserts its sovereignty through Acts of Parliament

Once an Act has been put on the Parliament roll the courts will not challenge its validity. •This is exemplified in Pickin v British Railways.
Mr Pickin had sought to challenge the Private Act of 1836 on the basis that Parliament had been mislead by fraud. •HoL held that he was not entitled to examine proceedings in Parliament to show that the Act had not been passed due to fraud. •This principle follows Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689 – where the freedom of speech of Par ought not to be impeached.

Other Examples of the unlimited competence of Parliament
(a) statute may override international law
-Cheney v Conn [1968] (tax payer challenged tax assessment, tax used to manufac weapons contrary to Geneva Convention. Lost. Intl law not imp.)

(b) statute may override conventions
-Madzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke[1969] (Par isn’t bound by conventions =>originally: once independence granted UK not legislate on its behalf, wrong!)

(c) statute may alter the constitution
-Act of Settlement 1700 (altered succession to the throne)
-European Communities Act 1972 (altered constitution)

(d) statute may operate retrospectively
-Burmah Oil Co. v Lord Advocate [1965] (HoL held govt should pay compensation) -War Damage Act 1965 (passed to invalidate HoL, overturned decision...
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