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Saturday, 4 September 2010
Law students are inducted into the mysteries of "Parliamentary Sovereignty" as part of their Constitutional Law studies. It's a favourite (for those who set them at least!) exam subject. There have been a number of Washminster postings on the subject -
* Dicey's teachings on Parliamentary Sovereignty
* the challenges that membership of the European Union has for Dicey's traditional view of the doctrine
* how the Human Rights Act 1998 attempts to recognise the doctrine - but how its application (interpretation under s3 widely used, rather than Declaration of Incompatability - s4)
Particular issues to reflect upon
- is the doctrine one of substance or procedure? - Edinburgh and Dalkeith Rly Co v Wauchope (1842) 8 Cl & Fin 710, 8 ER 279, Lee v Bude and Torrington Junction Rly Co (1871) LR 6 CP 576 and BRB v Pickin  AC 765 - all uphold the principle that what parliament says is the law is accepted by the Courts as such - the "Enrolled Bill Rule"
- what do cases on the doctrine of Implied Repeal say that is relevant? - and in particular Thoburn v Sunderland City Council  3 WLR 247?
Tom Bingham (Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill) has some very useful remarks on the subject in his book "The Rule of Law".
I am a tutor for the Open University and have practical experience of working in the UK and European Parliaments.
Until May 2010 I worked at Westminster as Political Secretary to Lord Bach and to Lord Hunt of King's Heath. Previously I had worked as Research and Policy Director in the Office of Sir Peter Soulsby MP. In 2001 and 2005 I stood for Parliament in the South Leicestershire Constituency of Blaby. In 2009 I was a candidate for the European Parliament in the East Midlands Region.
I have a keen academic and practical interest in the workings of both the UK Parliament and the US Congress. I have made a number of study visits to Washington DC - and monitor proceedings, procedure and practice in the four chambers [House of Commons, House of Lords, House of Representative and the Senate]
Over the years I have broadcast on both UK & US Politics for BBC local radio including Radio Northampton; BBC Three Counties and BBC Radio Oxford.