Q&A email from Albert

This is a short but hopefully helpful email Q&A between Albert and Terry.

Terry asks Albert :

I would like Albert to take a peek at this and ask him for a brief response with some suggestions has to just what books we should be reading that show us that Parliament is not Sovereign:


and also this from Terry:
The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this,
namely, that Parliament thus defined has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.
A.V.DICEY Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution [Eighth
Edition, 1915] (LibertyClassics, 1982), pp. 3-4.
Our constitution, in short, is a judge-made constitution, and it bears on its face all the features, good and bad, of judge-made law.
Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution [Eighth Edition, 1915]
A.V.DICEY (LibertyClassics, 1982), p. 116.
The fact that the most arbitrary powers of the English executive must always be
exercised under Act of Parliament places the government, even when armed with the widest authority, under the supervision, so to speak, of the Courts. Powers, however extraordinary, which are conferred or sanctioned by statute, are never really unlimited, for they are confined by the words of the Act itself, and, what is more, by the interpretation put upon the statute by the judges. Parliament is supreme legislator, but from the moment Parliament has uttered its will as lawgiver, that will becomes subject to the interpretation put upon it by the judges of the land.
Albert Venn Dicey (February 4, 1835 – April 7, 1922) was a British jurist and constitutional theorist who wrote An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885). The principles it expounds are considered part of the uncodified British constitution.
~ Terry

Here is the response from Albert:
I hesitate to say this Dicey being such an eminent chap, “BUT DICEY WAS WRONG”! He was writing to please the government of the day and because what he wrote suited government, government grabbed it with both hands. Jennings was also wrong any reading of the constitution clearly shows them to be wrong. Our common law not our constitution is to a large part Judge made but it also includes in large measure those truly ancient parts of our law known as Custom these customs can not be changed because they have been in use for so long with the approval of the people they cannot be changed or repealed by parliament. Because they have become the custom and practice of England.  A very large part of our constitution comprises those charters made by the King after discussion with the estates of England such as Magna Carta 1215 and the Bill of Rights 1689 which parliament cannot change because they are a contract between the Kings of England and the People. And only a meeting between the King/Queen of England and the Estates of England can change them and only by negotiation. So sorry Terry you really will have to be more careful of what you read .

I'm the webmaster for ECG. Please note... I am not responsible for the content or links in this site. Do not send me personal emails questioning the topics on this site.

Posted in Blog