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Restraints to Parliamentary Sovereignty

The concept of parliamentary sovereignty protects parliament from any interference or review of its enactments by the judiciary or any other body. Deepened integration with the European Union would require the United Kingdom to give primary importance to EU laws over local legislation, something that makes the British parliament uncomfortable. At the same time, there has been a criticism of the absence of any authority to review the enactments of the British parliament to ensure that civil rights and equity are not compromised. This paper critically analyzes the diverse arguments made with reference to parliamentary oversight and comments on how for parliament is free to legislate as it wishes compared to the past.
The emergence of the concept of parliamentary sovereignty has been described as a necessity of a unique British political context in the early part of the twentieth century. The absolute power of the parliament recognized by this notion was meant to lend stability and credibility to the parliament (Saunders and Dziedzic, 2013). The authors explain that the traditional idea of parliamentary sovereignty articulated by A. V. Dicey was not intended to condone or protect any oppressive laws made by parliament. In fact, the idea was proposed on the assumption that a number of internal and external checks would automatically prevent the parliament from misusing its power and develop laws contrary to the interests of public opinion and wishes. Another assumption made by Dicey was that the legislative superiority of the parliament was akin to rule of law. Hence, through this assumption, the traditional concept of parliamentary sovereignty precludes any oversight role for the judiciary, which is a common feature in other countries such as the United States.nbsp.nbsp.