Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, explain why, in practice, parliamentary sovereignty is not undermined by the Human Rights Act. (10 marks)
Parliamentary gives Parliament superior and legal authority as they can make or unmake any Act of Parliament they wish and although the House of Commonsâ has most of the dominance they always need the support of the House of Lords to pass an Act. Parliamentary sovereignty refers to this joint power. The Human Rights Act 1998 is a law passed by Parliament that has limited the application of parliamentary sovereignty as it is made unlawful for any public body to act in a way which is incompatible with the Convention although the courts can only make a declaration.
Under the Human Rights Act, it is the role of the judiciary to interpret the law, as far as possible, in a way that is compatible with the rights of the Convention. However, it is not possible to interpret an Act of Parliament and make the law compatible with the Convention as they cannot override it and only make a declaration of incompatibility, a suggestion to Parliament that the law should be changed to coincide with Convention rights. It is then the majority party that will decide in Parliament of the changes, maintaining the sovereignty. The repercussions of this in terms of maintaining a democratic government because of the fact unelected and therefore unaccountable judges are influencing elected politicians. However, sanctions from the EU can be made if a member country does not come into line, for example the organisation gave Italy an economic sanction for its policy of sending away Libyan migrants who had approached Italy by sea.
It could argued that the Human Rights Act gave Tony Blairâs Government the UK a sense that their rights were much better protected and acted as an âembellishmentâ for New Labour because with parliamentary sovereignty a law can be made or unmade by parliament as it is not entrenched. Prime Minister David...
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