Assessing the relationship between legislative and judicial supremacy in the UK: Parliament and the rule of law after Jackson

Christopher McCorkindale, Nick McKerrell

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In this article, the authors will consider a very narrow yet spectacularly important aspect of the rule of law: its place in a constitution - the constitution of the United Kingdom – in which supremacy rests not with the constitution as a document to be interpreted by a constitutional court, but with the legislature itself. Whilst traditionally the supremacy of the Crown in Parliament has meant that British courts have had no right to set aside even the most oppressive legislation, recent extra-judicial writings and obiter dicta in case law has been indicative of a shift in the judicial mood. In light of these developments, the paper will ask (1) where does the relationship between the supremacy of the Crown in Parliament and the rule of law stand now; (2) where might that trajectory take us; and (3) what might be done to reconcile the two.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalRound Table
Issue number4
Early online date3 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • rule of law
  • Crown in Parliament
  • legislation
  • legislative supremacy
  • courts
  • rights
  • constitutional principle
  • reasonable disagreement
  • justice

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