General Principles Of Constitutional And Assessment Answer



Constitution of any country deals with the power and functions of the organs of a government. The parliamentary sovereignty is the well-established concept of the constitution. According to the aspect of England, we can observe the applicability of this doctrine. The government has three functional bodies. They are recognised as the Legislative body, Executive body, and judicial body. In accordance with the theory of parliamentary supremacy, the legislative body possesses more power than the other two organs. It can be claimed that the parliament's authority is unquestionable. The decision of the Parliament is not bound by any executive action or the judicial precedents. Another important theory of separation of power states that all the government must work independently. One governmental organisation will not interfere in the activity of the other department. But the doctrine of parliamentary opposes that theory. If we take the instance of United Kingdom, it can be felt that a proper parliamentary sovereignty is found. But it can be assumed that the parliament is not sovereign in political means. If the organ construct any immoral law, that can't be accepted. Different justice in different case laws opined that in the United Kingdom, the Parliament has no proper authority to pass any immoral law. But if the act is passed the court or other authority has no right to nullify the law. The discussion will give the attention on the disparagement concerning Parliamentary supremacy in addition to altering the constitutional viewpoint with the intention to give good reason for why a written constitution will make available effectiveness to the scheme of constitutional pre-eminence.

Doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy- Alder's version

In the case of Madzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke, Lord Reid claimed that different matters can be considered as unconstitutional for the legislative body of England. But the restriction does not indicate the situation that parliament has no authority to make the law on that field. Parliament always has the power to legislate any law in any segment. This doctrine claims that parliament has all the power over the other organs. It has the authority to enact any and every law in the country. That law cannot be invalided by any other organ of the government. Pickin v. British Railway Board states the fact of political supremacy as the action of the parliament. The concept of A.V. Dicey in regards to parliamentary supremacy is very important, and that was criticised by Alder in his theory. In this mentioned case, it was decided that the law of parliament can be nullified on the wider political aspect of a nation. 

Jackson v A-G is one of the most important case law in regards to the context of United Kingdom. This case prescribed the actual importance of this doctrine in the domain of United Kingdom. Alder criticised the theory of A.V. Dicey and proclaimed that the concept can qualify the feature of legal supremacy but does not qualify the feature of political supremacy.

The view of Alder is quite different from Dicey. He basically advice and advocates for the acceptance rule of parliamentary supremacy. According to him, the political aspect and constitutional aspects are different from each other with a thin line. In the case of Jackson v A-G, Lord Hope determines that the applicability of the parliamentary sovereignty depends on the acceptance of the people. If people of any nation opposed the law, then that can't qualify a character of a good law. The rule of recognition is important in the case of any law if parliament enacts any unrecognisable law, then that can be treated as bad law.

In the case of R v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the parliament was defined and declared as the representative of people. So it needs to enact the law that can be recognised by the people of the nation. Alder in his theory specifies that Dicey differentiate between the political supremacy and legal supremacy. The legal supremacy of the parliament comprises the authority of the law initiates of a nation. On the other hand, political supremacy is the matter where people recognised the law. The theory of Dicey was criticised at this point. Alder correctly pointed out the situation that at this point. He claimed that the political supremacy is not correctly pictured in the theory of Dicey. Alder analyse and evaluate the observation of Dicey and utter that Dicey in the hypothesis pointed to that the people who entitled to vote even if today it might rather be the financial or specialist system with privileged admission to politicians as a whole.  The interior and outer political restrictions on the politician are portrayed by Dicey in his theory. The interior restrictions submit to the intrinsic policy and performance of the parliament. In the legislative body, an incorporation of the rule desires the consent from the Queen to pass the legislation. The supporting and moral force obligatory on the principle is as well the division of interior restrictions to some extent. On the other had the external restriction includes the recognition of the people. The external rule includes all the people because the applicability of the law depends on them only.

The view of Dicey is obsolete as defined and criticised by Alder by his theory. He questions the relevancy of the theory in this book. The theory of Alder appropriates in the contemporary world. His theory is on the basis of the context of United Kingdom. As we all know that the United Kingdom is a common law country, and it has no documented constitution. As the absence of any written constitution, the actual authorisation of parliamentary supremacy is not defined properly. This theory confined the power on the hand of an organ only. So, therefore, the modification in the speculation is necessary. The parliamentary supremacy assumption is stood on the examination of occasion and variation. The hypothesis stands on the supporting philosophy. If the philosophy is altering, the notion of the principle will also modify. The theory given by Alder defined the difficulties of the doctrine in a nice manner. He nicely pointed to the arguments that define the ineffectiveness of this theory in the modern concept. Alder in his theory argued that, the foundation of this principle stand upon the receipt from the citizen of a country. First and foremost this principle was urbanized as a chronological answer to the opinionated state of affairs. It is beginning to decrease the despotism of the emperor at that point of time. But the situation and preference altered each day. The elderly conceptions of this set of guidelines are become out of date at the present. Dicey give his hypothesis at the Victorian rule. On that time, it can be assumed that the theory may be appropriate for the situation. The inhabitant of United State was to a quantity of amount get advantage from that system. The cause is that it alleviates them from the misconduct of the mess up the kingdom. But at the moment this hypothesis is old-fashioned. The set of guidelines gives the impression to be illusory, prejudiced, sensibly torn. Definite interior and outer pressures made this hypothesis old-fashioned for the contemporary situation. The situation can be defined as familial and in addition to the global sources. The resources comprise the global financial system, devolution, allocation, association ship in EU, related intercontinental responsibility and growing the supremacy of the decision-making organ of the government.

Applicability of this theory in modern concept including international aspect of law in the United Kingdom

The theory provided by Alder can be treated as a relevant theory in the modern concept. The parliamentary supremacy doctrine has its effect in international and national law at the same time. He straightway opposed the view of Dicey. Dicey claimed the concept was an absolute and concrete argument. But he claimed that all the theories depend on the rule of recognition. The defects in the theory are very much present in the modern context. So these theories are very relevant in the present context. The United Kingdom by the application of Royal privilege can enter into any such international conventions and treaties. The doctrine of parliamentary supremacy claimed that no modification in the law can be done without the permission or authorization of the Parliament. The parliamentary right can only be altered by the session of the parliament, and that is the rule by any means. It is the duty of the parliament to make law according to the requirement of the international treaty that can be fit in the context.

Various cases of EU state that the union law is higher in rank that the domestic law. It can be claimed that whenever the discrepancies arises the law of EU will be prevalent. In this concept subordinate the authority of the British parliament. In a prominent case of ECJ in Costa v. ENEL the matter was clarified that the EU law is more significant than the English domestic law. It is also examined that the necessities international law is also higher that the domestic law of United Kingdom. It can be claimed that the right and the liabilities of the citizen of UK can be altered only by the parliament.  Consequently, the legislative body requirements to enact a law that incorporated the necessities described under the Lisbon Treaty to the law of United Kingdom. So, therefore, that the notions are incorporated to the British law. In deliberation of the doctrine of supremacy of Parliament can be taken into consideration, at the time of evaluating any particular Act. Alternatively, the abbreviation of the Lisbon Treaty begins a considerable circumstance that explicitly substantiates the dispensation of EU members to take away from the membership of the community of European Union. It is defined in the Article 50 of TEU that the States have the authority to reject the membership of the Union. These provisions draw attention to the divergence that British parliament residue and follow the law of EU as comprehensive as the legislative body requires continuing in the membership with EU. As a result, it is supposed to be established that the incorporation of the principle of Lisbon Treaty on the UK system gives an alteration to that theory.

Section 2(1) of the European Communities Act 1972 provides the result of the United Kingdom to directly implementations. Section 2(4) of the same Act requires that United Kingdom adjudicators to give priority to unswervingly effective EU authorized regulations. EU regulation can be reliably effectual if it is understandable, precise.

In the case of Litster v Forth Dry Docks, the relevance of this theory was asserted. In this case, the domestic legal rules had been carried out to make available the actual conclusion and application to the command given by EU. Devolution is also a concept with inferior the effect of the doctrine of the supremacy of the parliament, though the effect is very minimal.

The Scotland Act 1998 authorizes the legislative assembly to build on regions that are considered to non- reserved like the domain of wellbeing and learning.It acts in the identical method to the actual constitution, anywhere on the Scottish legislative body is less important than parliament and have no authority to enact the law for the domain of England & Wales. The Government of Wales Act 1998 provides the power to the government to create delegation of legislation.The Human Rights Act 1998 includes the principle of European Convention on Human Rights and is a legal establishment. Section 3 of the Act of 1998 needs the courts to the extent that credible to take to meaning of the national commandment additionally corresponding with the privileges is given by the Convention and international treaties. The panel of adjudicators gets hold of a purposive viewpoint to do so as stated in one of the precedent case of Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza. On the other hand, the panel of adjudicators will not get hold of knowledge if it manufactures an apprehension to the national law. This provision is mentioned in a historical judgment of the Webb v EMO Air Cargo.

It was discussed that Thomas Paine’s observation of autonomy of parliament observes to a certain extent secure to an outlook that come into view to come out these days in regards to the legitimate perception of Parliamentary supremacy; exclusively that the perception can no longer secure constitutional privileges. It can be discussed to a definite scope that this idea is no more used as the spinal column of the foundation in radiance of its chronological ancestry, the move in connotation from Dicey’s description in addition to the communal and opinionated revolution which the constitution has unquestionably countenances in contemporary times. In addition, the perception no more gives a sturdy stamina provided these communal and political state of affairs; such point of view will be discovered in supplementary aspect and seek to demonstrate how we are precedent the end where legislative body can be observed as the single means of protection of the right of the people. A variety of question from the performance of the European Communities Act 1972 to a mounting be short of division of power for the propose that modernisation of the British political association is to a large extent required in an arrangement where the notion of Parliamentary supremacy is continually shifting and unavoidably fetching more narrower in its extent. The intention of this argument is not to produce the faultless constitution for the United Kingdom, but to go forward with the proposition for altering the foundation of the constitution of England from Parliamentary supremacy to an additional democratically feasible conception of constitutional pre-eminence.


We can conclude this matter by saying that the assumption and theory provided by Alder are more suitable in the contemporary concept of the legal theories. The concept provided by Dicey is not suitable in the modern aspect. The criticism of Alder in this concept is appropriate and correct. This paper explores the in acceptability of the doctrine in the concept of the modern era of United Kingdom. The concept of Dicey cannot be applicable fully. This absolute parliamentary supremacy is not possible in the contemporary world. The concept of Alder is also supported by different theories in the modern day. We can rightly conclude that the theory of Alder is appropriate and adequate in the modern world that the law must be recognised by the subjects of a country.


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Blackburn v A-G (1971) 1 WLR

Costa v ENEL [1964] ECR

Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30

Jackson v A-G (2006) (2006) 1 AC

Litster v Forth Dry Docks [1988] UKHL

Madzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke (1969) 1 AC

Pickin V British Railway Board [1974] AC

Webb v EMO Air Cargo (1994) 4 All ER

Pickin V British Railway Board [1974] AC.

Jackson v A-G (2006) (2006) 1 AC

Jackson v A-G (2006) (2006) 1 AC

R v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2008) 4 All ER

John Alder and others, General Principles of Constitutional and Administrative Law (Palgrave Macmillan 2002)

John Alder, Constitutional And Administrative Law (10th end, Palgrave Macmillan 2015).

John Hatchard and Peter Slinn, Parliamentary Supremacy and Judicial Independence (Taylor & Francis 2003)

Litster v Forth Dry Docks [1988] UKHL

Alison L Young, Parliamentary Sovereignty And The Human Rights Act (Hart Pub 2009).

Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30

Webb v EMO Air Cargo (1994) 4 All ER


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