Judges, Lawyers and Parliament

  • Dawn Oliver
  • Paul Evans


In his classic definition of Parliament’s legislative sovereignty, Thomas Erskine May expressed the High Victorian view of the matter —

The legislative authority of Parliament extends over the United Kingdom … there are no other limits to its power of making laws … than those which are incident to all sovereign authority – the willingness of the people to obey, or their power to resist … it is bound by no fundamental charter or constitution; but has itself the sole constitutional right of establishing and altering the laws.1


Corporal Punishment Attorney General Constitutional Principle Statutory Provision Home Department 
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  1. 1.
    Thomas Erskine May, Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament. 1st edition, London, 1844, p. 29.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. Friedman, Total Justice. Russell Sage Foundation, 1985.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lord Irvine of Lairg, QC, ‘Judges and Decision Makers: The Theory and Practice of Wednesbury Review’ [1996] Public Law. 59–78.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lord Denning in Bulmer v. Bollinge. [1974] Ch. 401.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    See e.g. Murray Hunt, ‘Sovereignty’s blight: Why public law needs the concept of “Due Deference”’ in N. Bamforth and P. Leyland (eds), Public Law in a Multi-Layered Constitution. Hart Publishing, 2003.Google Scholar
  6. 31.
    M. Elliott ‘Parliamentary sovereignty and the new constitutional order: legislative freedom, political reality and convention’ (2002) 22 Legal Studies.340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 32.
    Lord Woolf ‘Droit public — English style’ [1995] Public La. 57Google Scholar
  8. Sir John Laws ‘Law and Democracy’ [1995] Public La. 72.Google Scholar
  9. 37.
    Herne Hill and David Pannick (eds), Human Rights Law and Practic. (2nd ed. 2004) ch. 8Google Scholar
  10. David Feldman, ‘Parliamentary Scrutiny of Legislation and Human Rights’ [2002] Public La. 313Google Scholar
  11. ‘The Impact of Human Rights on the Legislative Process’ (2004) 25 Statute Law Revie. 91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn Oliver
  • Paul Evans

There are no affiliations available

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