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Public Law - Parliamentary Sovereignty - Essay Example

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Within established constitutional convention, the separation of powers doctrine is rooted in the importance of independence to the functioning of democracy. The separation of powers paradigm assigns different socio-political institutions with specific functions with the theoretical ideal advocating that each institution operates independently of the other. …
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Public Law - Parliamentary Sovereignty
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Notwithstanding the symbolic importance of Parliament within the separation of powers doctrine, in practice commentators have suggested that within the contemporary socio-political framework the reality is that the separation of powers doctrine is intrinsically limited. Academic discourse has suggested that the lack of clarity in the unwritten UK constitution as compared to other democracies has further compounded the lack of defined boundaries between various institutional functions under the separation of powers doctrine within the UK. However, whilst there may be no absolute doctrine of separation of powers, it has been acknowledged that the principle underlines day to day functions of the executive, legislature and judiciary. This paper critically reviews the extent to which Parliamentary sovereignty is qualified. In doing so, this paper will firstly refer to parliamentary procedure and undertake a contextual analysis of how EC law and the Human Rights Act 1998 exemplify the reality that Parliamentary sovereignty is inherently qualified in practice.

It is proposed at the outset that there is no clear separation of powers within the theoretical ideal and in practice there is a fusion of powers, which is arguably necessary to ensure effective channels of communication in the socio-political infrastructure. Whilst the Law Commission’s legislative authority asserts its independence ; the internal governance of the Commission with appointments being made by the Lord Chancellor enables executive influence in legislative functions.10. Furthermore, the extent of judicial powers derives directly from the Crown and therefore the operation of the socio-political infrastructure is clearly dependent on the overlap of functions between the theoretical separate powers11. This blurring of the separation of powers has significant implications for Parliamentary procedure. The central function of Parliament is as legislative arm of the British political system12. However, Parliament effectively operates within a party political system and to a degree is used as medium for sanctioning executive sovereignty as it relies on the executive for policy initiatives13. Whilst Parliament can subject executive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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