Parliamentary Sovereignty in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Simms
    • House of Lords
    • 08 July 1999

    Fundamental rights cannot be overridden by general or ambiguous words. This is because there is too great a risk that the full implications of their unqualified meaning may have passed unnoticed in the democratic process. In the absence of express language or necessary implication to the contrary, the courts therefore presume that even the most general words were intended to be subject to the basic rights of the individual.

  • Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2)
    • House of Lords
    • 10 July 2003

    In particular, it is a cardinal constitutional principle that the will of Parliament is expressed in the language used by it in its enactments. The proportionality of legislation is to be judged on that basis. The courts are to have due regard to the legislation as an expression of the will of Parliament. The court is called upon to evaluate the proportionality of the legislation, not the adequacy of the minister's exploration of the policy options or of his explanations to Parliament.

  • HM Revenue and Customs v IDT Card Services Ireland Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 January 2006

    Although the technique of interpreting domestic legislation as far as possible in conformity with European Union law has now been applied (with necessary alterations) to test whether the legislation is compatible with the ECHR, I recognise that the context is different in some respects. The obligation to comply with the Convention is imposed on the member state.

  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Pierson
    • House of Lords
    • 24 July 1997

    From these authorities I think the following proposition is established. A power conferred by Parliament in general terms is not to be taken to authorise the doing of acts by the donee of the power which adversely affect the legal rights of the citizen or the basic principles on which the law of the United Kingdom is based unless the statute conferring the power makes it clear that such was the intention of Parliament.

  • R (on the application of T) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester
    • Supreme Court
    • 18 June 2014

    The power to make orders under the 1974 Act is exercisable in accordance with section 10(2), which requires that a draft of the proposed order must be laid before Parliament and approved by an affirmative resolution. The draft order would appear to me to be properly described as a "proposal for legislation". As I shall explain, however, I find it unnecessary to reach a concluded view upon the point, which was not the subject of submissions.

  • Re S (Minors) (Care Order: Implementation of Care Plan); Re W
    • House of Lords
    • 14 March 2002

    In applying section 3 courts must be ever mindful of this outer limit. The Human Rights Act reserves the amendment of primary legislation to Parliament. By this means the Act seeks to preserve parliamentary sovereignty. The Act maintains the constitutional boundary. Interpretation of statutes is a matter for the courts; the enactment of statutes, and the amendment of statutes, are matters for Parliament.

  • R (Nadezda Anufrijeva) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • House of Lords
    • 26 June 2003

    Notice of a decision is required before it can have the character of a determination with legal effect because the individual concerned must be in a position to challenge the decision in the courts if he or she wishes to do so. It is simply an application of the right of access to justice.

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Legislation
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2020
    ... ... 28 in force at 19.5.2020 by S.I. 2020/518, reg. 2(m) ... Parliamentary oversight ... 29: Review of EU legislation during implementation period ... PART 5: General and final provision ... Parliamentary sovereignty ... 38: Parliamentary sovereignty ... (1) It is recognised that the ... ...
  • The Statutory Auditors (Amendment of Companies Act 2006 and Delegation of Functions etc) Order 2012
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2012
    ... ... the grounds referred to in section 1253B(3) (a) (prejudice to sovereignty, security or public order) , and(d) refusing a request, or directing a ... 2011/99 ... Norman Lamb Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal ... ...
  • The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 13) Regulations 2022
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2022
    ... ... or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine” or “obtaining a benefit from or supporting ... Parliamentary Under Secretary of State ... Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office ... ...
  • The Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2023
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2023
    ... ... or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine” or “obtaining a benefit from or supporting ... David Rutley ... Parliamentary Under Secretary of State ... Foreign, Commonwealth and Development ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • House of Commons holds second EU Referendum Debate
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    When the UK voted in the Referendum on 23 June 2016 whether to remain or leave the European Union, the majority voted in favour of leaving. This was only the third UK-wide referendum ever held. The...
    ... ... They are rare because the UK relies upon the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty. However, the UK Government have instituted a process for the ... ...
  • Theresa May’s 12 Brexit Principles – and What They Mean for Financial Services
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    By Rob Moulton Theresa May’s speech on Brexit covered many of the topics that were central to the Brexit referendum debate. Immigration, the European Court of Justice, and Parliamentary sovereignty...
    ... ... Immigration, the European Court of Justice, and Parliamentary sovereignty all had starring roles. But, for once, serious comments were ... ...
  • Theresa May’s 12 Brexit Principles – and What They Mean for Financial Services
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Theresa May’s speech on Brexit covered many of the topics that were central to the Brexit referendum debate. Immigration, the European Court of Justice, and Parliamentary sovereignty all had starri...
    ... ... Immigration, the European Court of Justice, and Parliamentary sovereignty all had starring roles.  But, for once, serious comments were ... ...
  • Brexit - The New Uncertainty
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The UK High Court of Justice has today delivered its highly anticipated decision on the legal challenge brought against the UK Government to the effect that the Executive does not have the right to...
    ... ... High Court has determined that the fundamental principle of parliamentary sovereignty requires the Government to seek the approval of the UK ... ...
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