Constitutional law applicable in the Anglo-Saxon - parliamentary sovereignty
- The European Communities Act 1972 (ECA)
- The balance between parliamentary sovereignty and the supremacy of Community law
One of the key characteristics of British Constitution is the dominance of the Parliament. The Parliament is the main legislative body in British Constitution. It is bicameral; and is composed of two chambers, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The main functions of the Parliament are to sustain the executive by authorizing the raising and spending of funds, to hold the executive to account and to scrutinize and to approve or amend the legislations. The classic definition of parliamentary sovereignty was given by A. V. Dicey, a constitutional scholar and is composed by several rules: Parliament is competent to legislate on any subject-matter, no Parliament can bind its successors or can be bound by its predecessors and no other body than Parliament has the ability to override or set aside an Act of Parliament (this mechanism is called the implied repeal). Since 1970, the concept of Parliamentary Sovereignty has evolved because of several factors such as the entry of the United Kingdom in the Europe with the European Communities Act in 1972, the adoption of the Human Rights Act in 1998 and the process of devolution since 1998. The aim of this essay is to discuss about the profound transformations that the constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty has been subject to.