Rule Of Law Analysis

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The definition of the rule of law has been expounded upon since Dicey, and other theorists have drawn up principles they consider to be key in defining the rule of law. Lord Bingham, for example, favours a more thick conception of the rule of law where ‘substantive’ elements are also protected, such as fundamental human rights. He also believed there must be compliance by the state towards its international legal obligations.

Due to the United Kingdoms’ dualist nature, the Human Rights Act is derived from the European Convention of Human Rights. When looking at the Human Rights Act, the initial section 3(1) may raise the possibility that parliamentary sovereignty is limited as it requires courts to give effect to ‘primary and subordinate
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It then lies in Parliament to change or repeal that part of a statue if it decides to. This upholds the principles of parliamentary sovereignty. In this aspect of legislation, parliamentary sovereignty wins out agains Dicey’s definition of the rule of law as the judiciary can only issue a declaration of incompatibility which just draws the issue to parliament - they cannot repeal it, and indeed whilst the declaration of incompatibility is announced the legislation is still in force. Bingham’s definition of the rule of law though incorporates the protection of fundamental human rights, and in this case allows both principles to work in …show more content…
There are many points in which the principles conflict over - the ability of judges being initially unable to challenge an act in parliament growing into one where some judges feel where an act of parliament breaches the rule of law they would be able to, where the expansion of the definition of the rule of law by other theorists includes international laws in which the limit parliamentary sovereignty to a certain degree. In the end, there have been conflicting decisions made in cases affecting both principles, but when looking at more recent cases such as Jackson v Attorney General and it’s suggestion of the judiciary being able scrutinise parliamentary sovereignty in favour of the rule of law it suggests that the principle may be held as of similar importance to the British constitution as the principle of parliamentary sovereignty

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