Parliamentary sovereignty and the Human Rights Act 1998

Parliamentary sovereignty and the Human Rights Act 1998

By Matthew Burton

In a recent post on this blog, Chris Kirkland highlights the problematic nature of the concept of sovereignty in relation to the Brexit debate and the forthcoming referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. On the one hand, Brexit campaigners argue that the UK has already lost its sovereignty to the European Union. A legally precise argument in this vein would point to the EU doctrines of supremacy and direct effect, which allow nationals of Member States of the EU to enforce EU law within the courts of the Member States, and requires EU law to take priority whenever it conflicts with a principle of domestic law. On the other hand, as the referendum demonstrates, the Westminster Parliament is free to legislate to withdraw from the EU whenever it wishes, and from a legal perspective at least, could do so without the need for any kind of referendum or national vote.

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After the election: Burma’s Pyidaungsu Hluttaw

After the election: Burma’s Pyidaungsu Hluttaw

By Liam Allmark

Last month’s election to Burma’s Pyidaungsu Hluttaw was an historic moment for the country and an important juncture in its ongoing political transition. Unlike the 2010 election which fell short of international standards and was boycotted by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), the majority of Burma’s people were this time able to exercise a real choice.

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Cameron’s Human Rights Headache?

Cameron’s Human Rights Headache?

Please note that this blog piece was originally published on the PSA Insight Blog, and is available here.

By Ben Worthy

As a newly elected Prime Minister, you wait around for one European problem then two come along at once. While David Cameron is trying to deal with his EU referendum promise, another ‘European’ problem has reared its head in the Queen’s Speech. The Conservatives promised to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a British Bill of Rights – see this full fact analysis for background. Continue reading