1. Constitutional ConventionsConstitutional conventions are distinct from both laws and mere habits
You should be able to explain and illustrate the distinct nature of constitutional conventions
Constitutional conventions are capable of imposing rules on constitutional behaviour
You should be able to explain and illustrate this binding effect. You should be able to illustrate their constitutional role with reference to examples of conventions.
Some constitutional conventions are undermined by vagueness and uncertainty
You should be able to illustrate this particularly through discussion of Individual Ministerial Responsibility
‘The convention of Individual Ministerial Responsibility indicates quite clearly that constitutional conventions do act to limit State power within our unwritten constitution’
• Constitutional conventions
• Is IMR clear?
• Do conventions limit State power?
2. Supremacy of Parliament
The traditional view of supremacy is that Parliament can make or unmake any law and that there is no higher authority in our legal system.
You should be able to outline Dicey’s view on supremacy.
The traditional view has three elements.
You should be to explain and illustrate the operation of the enrolled bill rule, implied repeal and territorial extent.
The Court of Justice of the European Union asserts the supremacy of EC law.
You should be able to explain this line of cases.
The reaction of the UK courts to supremacy has altered the legal rule of supremacy.
You should be able to explain the effect of Macarthys and Factortame, in particular on implied repeal.
The changes to supremacy may not be limited to EC law.
You should be able explain the cases of Thoburn and Jackson.
Discuss the extent to which the traditional view of Parliamentary supremacy has been undermined by both the UK’s membership of the European Union and other challenges. Is it still correct to describe Parliament as ‘legally supreme’?
• Traditional view of supremacy
• Membership of EU – CJEU view
• Membership of EU – UK courts
• Other challenges – Thoburn, Jackson