Essay On Executive And Legislative Power

1144 Words 5 Pages
Constitutionally speaking, judges cannot control executive and legislative power because of parliamentary sovereignty. This severely weakens the judiciary 's power to control the executive. However, in practical terms, the judiciary does have some power to control the executive and Parliament. The judiciary can, to some extent, control the executive and the legislature because of the rule of law, the rights and liberties of citizens and judicial review. However, despite these few powers, the judiciary can ultimately only control the power of the executive and the legislature in the short term, as in the long run Parliament can change any law, making whatever it wanted to do legal. The fundamental limits on the power of the judiciary …show more content…
The rule of law is the principle that everybody should be treated equally under the law and that the government is not exempt from the law and, therefore, cannot act outside the law. This means that if the executive or legislature act in a way that is not permitted by law, the judiciary has the power to control Parliament. An example of this is the HM Treasury v. Mohammed Jabar Ahmed case, in which the court ruled that the government did not have the power to freeze the assets of suspected terrorists. However, the rule of law does not just mean that the judiciary can prevent the executive and Parliament from acting in an unlawful manner, it also means that Parliament does not have the power to pass Acts that undermine the rule of law. This means that Parliament should not pass legislation that would result in the unequal treatment of particular groups or individuals. If Parliament does pass any such laws, the judiciary has the power to declare them unlawful if the law is taken to judicial review, as it almost certainly would be if the law were genuinely violating the rule of …show more content…
Judicial reviews are the main way that the courts can control the government. Judicial reviews are the process through which the actions of the government are judges to be lawful or not, or whether or not the actions of the government were ultra vires, meaning that the government did not have the legal power to take the given action. In recent years, more and more judicial reviews have been happening for several reasons, including the Human Rights Act. A key example of how judicial reviews can limit the government is the Belmarsh case, 2004. In this instance, the court ruled that people who were being detained as suspected terrorists could not be detained without trial. This was a major blow to the government 's anti-terrorism policy which had intended to extend the period of detention without trial, for suspected terrorists, to ninety days. Partly as a result of the Belmarsh case, the government was unable to do this. The judgements of the courts in a judicial review tend to be accepted as binding by the government, as in the Belmarsh case, but as Parliament remains sovereign, it does retain the power to ignore the ruling. Although this would, in almost all cases, be very unpopular and a politically unwise decision so it is uncommon for the government to ignore the judgement of a judicial review

Related Documents