Constitutional twin pillars
Does parliamentary sovereignty trump the rule of law?
in Governing Britain
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The chapter examines the two concepts seen as the twin pillars of the constitution – parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. It defines parliamentary sovereignty, drawing on the classic work of A. V. Dicey, and draws out the problems associated with defining the rule of law and the implications of a clash between parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. Though twin pillars of the constitution, they are not necessarily equal pillars. It examines recent challenges by some judges to the supremacy of parliamentary sovereignty, developed in recent court cases, and the implications of the claim that the doctrine is the product of common law and therefore can be overridden by the courts.


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