Has the Dominant Role in Parliament in the Uk Constitutional System Been Undermined by the Human Rights Act?

2. Has the dominant role in Parliament in the UK constitutional system been undermined by the Human Rights Act?

In order to answer the question in a satisfactory manner analysis should be given to the traditional view of parliament in the UK constitution. Dicey remains the most infamous academic on the subject at hand. Craig, the author of Administrative Law,   refers to Parliament’s dominance which is underlined by Dicey. Dicey always proclaimed that Parliament was supreme in the UK constitution. This gives rise to the term Parliamentary monopoly. In accordance with Dicey’s rule of law and the place of parliament, Parliamentary monopoly states that governmental power stems from Parliament. Craig corroborates this view:

“This means that all governmental power should be channelled through parliament in order to that it might be subject to legitimating and oversight by the Commons. There was a belief in the nineteenth century albeit not universally shared, but held by Dicey, that the Commons could and did control the executive, and that all public power should be subject to to legislative oversight.” Craig, continuing, “secondly, Dicey used the rule of law to reinforce sovereignty in the sense of parliamentary monopoly.”

Some academics may claim that Dicey’s theory is an old relic and a distant concept to the current constitutional position of parliament. The introduction of European Union law coupled with the Human Rights Act   1998, subsequently means that a statement exclaiming Parliament is the highest authority is not a totally unequivocal statement. The current hierarchy is one in which European law sits at the top of the tree. As Lord Slynn explains, there is a significant impact on the constitution:

“….it must be enforced in the United Kingdom courts in relation to Community law matters, but not in domestic law. So the convention becomes in part of our law through the back door because we have to apply the convention in respect of Community law...