W201 - Public Law - Parliamentary Supremacy

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Parliamentary Procedure Quizzes & Trivia

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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    In Dicey's definition of parliamentary sovereignty, Parliament means 'the _____ in Parliament' i.e. the Queen, House of Lords and House of Commons.

    Explanation
    In Dicey's definition of parliamentary sovereignty, Parliament refers to the Queen, House of Lords, and House of Commons. This means that the Queen, along with the two houses of Parliament, holds the ultimate authority and power in the British political system. The Queen's role in the legislative process is mainly ceremonial, as she gives royal assent to bills passed by Parliament, but it is an essential part of the parliamentary sovereignty framework.

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  • 2. 

    Parliamentary supremacy and parliamentary sovereignty are the same thing.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    It is preferable to use 'supremacy'; 'sovereignty' is also used in international law and in the political sphere and its use can confuse. 'Supremacy' clearly expresses the central legal concept of the doctrine, that parliament is legislatively supreme.

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  • 3. 

    A V Dicey's classic formulation of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty was provided in which text?

    • A.

      The Limits of Parliamentary Sovereignty

    • B.

      Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution

    • C.

      Introduction to the Study of Parliamentary Sovereignty

    • D.

      The Limits of UK Constitutional Law

    Correct Answer
    B. Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution." A V Dicey's classic formulation of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty was provided in this text.

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  • 4. 

    How many elements are there in Dicey's formulation of parliamentary supremacy?

    • A.

      One

    • B.

      Two

    • C.

      Three

    • D.

      Four

    Correct Answer
    B. Two
    Explanation
    There are two:

    Parliament's right to make any law whatsoever (unlimited competence)

    Legislation made by Parliament cannot be overridden by any other body

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  • 5. 

    Parliament has the right to make any law whatsoever.  This is known as unlimited __________.

    Correct Answer
    competence
    Explanation
    Parliament has the authority to create laws without any limitations or restrictions. This is referred to as unlimited competence.

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  • 6. 

    In R (on the application of Jackson) v Attorney General [2006] 1 AC 262, Lord Hope noted that parliamentary sovereignty was no longer absolute (if it ever had been).  What did he say was the ultimate controlling factor on which our constitution was based?

    Correct Answer
    Rule of law
    The rule of law
    Explanation
    In the case R (on the application of Jackson) v Attorney General [2006] 1 AC 262, Lord Hope stated that parliamentary sovereignty was not absolute, suggesting that it may not have been absolute in the first place. He identified the ultimate controlling factor on which our constitution was based as the rule of law.

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  • 7. 

    It is not for a court to enquire into how an Act came to be, if it has the consent of the three components of Parliament then it is valid.  Which case confirmed this point? 

    • A.

      Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway v Wauchope (1842) 8 CI & F 710

    • B.

      Mortensen v Peters (1906) 14 SLT 227

    • C.

      Case of Proclamations (1611) 12 Co Rep 74

    • D.

      Liversidge v Anderson [1942] AC 206

    Correct Answer
    A. Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway v Wauchope (1842) 8 CI & F 710
    Explanation
    The case of Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway v Wauchope (1842) 8 CI & F 710 confirmed the point that it is not for a court to inquire into how an Act came to be, as long as it has the consent of the three components of Parliament, then it is valid.

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  • 8. 

    The courts have a general power to review legislation.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The courts have no general power to review legislation, as confirmed in Pickin v British Railways Board [1974] AC 765, although Parliament can confer such a power on the Courts.

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  • 9. 

    The ________ bill rule was outlined in Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway Co v Wauchope (1842) 8 CI & F 710 and is the rule that it is not for Parliament to enquire into the manner in which an Act was passed.

    Correct Answer
    enrolled
    Explanation
    The answer "enrolled" is correct because the enrolled bill rule, as outlined in the case of Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway Co v Wauchope (1842) 8 CI & F 710, states that it is not the role of Parliament to question or investigate how an Act was passed. Once a bill has been enrolled, it is considered to have gone through the proper legislative process and is therefore valid and binding. This rule ensures that the focus remains on the content and effect of the Act, rather than the procedural aspects of its passage.

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  • 10. 

    In simple terms, courts will accept an Act is an Act if it has the correct 'hallmark' of authenticity.  This 'hallmark' is _____ ______.

    Correct Answer
    Royal Assent
    Explanation
    The 'hallmark' of authenticity referred to in the question is the Royal Assent. Royal Assent is the approval given by the monarch or their representative, typically the Governor-General, to a bill that has been passed by both houses of Parliament. It is the final step in the legislative process and signifies that the bill has become an official Act of Parliament. Therefore, courts will accept an Act as valid if it has received the Royal Assent.

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  • 11. 

    No Bill can be sent for Royal Assent without the consent of the House of Lords.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 allow Bills to be sent for Royal Assent without the consent of the House of Lords.

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  • 12. 

    That Parliament can legislate for outwith the UK was confirmed in which case?

    • A.

      Madzimbamuto v Landner-Burke [1969] 1 AC 645

    • B.

      Mortensen v Peters (1906) 14 SLT 227

    • C.

      Burmah Oil Co v Lord Advocate [1965] AC 75

    • D.

      Bowies v Bank of England [1913] Ch 57

    Correct Answer
    B. Mortensen v Peters (1906) 14 SLT 227
  • 13. 

    The House of Lords decision in Burmah Oil Co v Lord Advocate [1965] AC 75 was reversed by which statute?

    Correct Answer
    The War Damage Act 1965
    War Damage Act 1965
    Explanation
    The Burmah Oil Co case held that private companies whose property was damages by the Crown during wartime should be compensated. The War Damage Act 1965 effectively reversed that decision and as such is an example of Parliament's competence to enact legislation with retrospective effect.

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  • 14. 

    Statutes will always override constitutional conventions.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    This is confirmed in the case of Madzimbamuto v Landner-Burke [1969] 1 AC 645.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following cases confirms that statues will always override constitutional conventions?

    • A.

      Manuel v Attorney General [1983] Ch 77

    • B.

      Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151

    • C.

      Mortensen v Peters (1906) 14 SLT 227

    • D.

      Madzimbamuto v Landner-Burke [1969] 1 AC 645.

    Correct Answer
    D. Madzimbamuto v Landner-Burke [1969] 1 AC 645.
  • 16. 

    The Criminal Justice Act 2003 makes it an offence punishable in the UK for a public official of any nationality to torture someone anywhere.  This is an example of Parliament's unlimited __________ in that it shows that Acts of Parliament are not limited territorially. 

    Correct Answer
    competence
    Explanation
    The given correct answer is "competence". This is because the statement indicates that the Criminal Justice Act 2003 extends the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament to punish public officials, regardless of their nationality, for the offense of torture committed anywhere in the world. This demonstrates the competence of Parliament to legislate on matters that have extraterritorial implications, showing that Acts of Parliament are not limited territorially.

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  • 17. 

    Mortensen v Peters (1906) 14 SLT 227 confirms that Parliament can legislate outside the UK.  It is also authority for what?

    • A.

      The an Act given Royal Assent is law

    • B.

      That Parliament can legislate to override constitutional conventions

    • C.

      That Parliament can legislate contrary to public international law

    • D.

      That Parliament should not normally be subject to judicial scrutiny

    Correct Answer
    C. That Parliament can legislate contrary to public international law
    Explanation
    Mortensen v Peters (1906) 14 SLT 227 establishes that Parliament has the power to create laws that go against public international law. This means that Parliament can pass legislation that contradicts or conflicts with international legal obligations or norms. This case confirms that domestic law takes precedence over international law within the UK legal system.

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  • 18. 

    The Parliaments Act 1911 stipulated five years as the maximum duration of a Parliament, so no Parliament can ever exceed that term.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    There have twice been Parliaments which exceeded a five year term. If Parliament legislates to say that it will run for longer than five years then as Parliament is supreme that is what would happen. Only practical concerns and the fact that the reason for extending may run contrary to the rule of law may hinder its ability to do so.

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  • 19. 

    That the Crown has no common law power to legislate was confirmed in which case?

    • A.

      Case of Prohibitions (Prohibitions del Roy) (1607) 12 Co Rep 63

    • B.

      Case of Proclamations (1611) 12 Co Rep 74

    • C.

      The Sheriff of Middlesex's Case (1840) 11 Ad & El 273

    • D.

      Entick v Carrington (1765) 19 St Tr 1029

    Correct Answer
    B. Case of Proclamations (1611) 12 Co Rep 74
    Explanation
    In the Case of Proclamations (1611) 12 Co Rep 74, it was confirmed that the Crown has no common law power to legislate. This means that the Crown cannot create laws without the consent and approval of the Parliament. This case established the principle that the King cannot make laws by issuing proclamations, as it violates the separation of powers and the authority of the Parliament to make laws.

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  • 20. 

    EU law can be directly effective in the UK and can override an Act of Parliament, however the argument is that Parliament is still supreme because this is only as a result of an Act of Parliament.  Which Act?

    • A.

      European Communities Act 1972

    • B.

      Human Rights Act 1998

    • C.

      European Union Act 2011

    • D.

      House of Lords Act 1999

    Correct Answer
    A. European Communities Act 1972
    Explanation
    The correct answer is the European Communities Act 1972. This Act is the legislation that incorporated EU law into UK law and gave it direct effect. It allowed EU law to override an Act of Parliament in certain circumstances. However, it is argued that Parliament is still supreme because it was through an Act of Parliament that this power was granted to EU law.

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  • 21. 

    Ellen Street Estates v Minister of Health [1934] 1 KB 590 confirms that Parliament can repeal an earlier Act by enacting a later Act which is inconsistent with it; this is _______ ______.

    Correct Answer
    implied repeal
    Explanation
    The case of Ellen Street Estates v Minister of Health [1934] 1 KB 590 established the concept of implied repeal. This means that Parliament has the power to repeal a previous Act by enacting a later Act that contradicts it. In other words, if a later Act is inconsistent with an earlier Act, the later Act will take precedence and effectively repeal the earlier Act. This principle allows for the flexibility and evolution of legislation over time.

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  • 22. 

    Which case suggests that some statutes are constitutional and thus immune to implied repeal.

    • A.

      Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151

    • B.

      Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932] AC 526

    • C.

      Factortame (No. 1) [1990] 2 AC 85

    • D.

      Macarthys v Smith [1979] ICR 785

    Correct Answer
    A. Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151
    Explanation
    Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151 suggests that some statutes are constitutional and thus immune to implied repeal.

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  • 23. 

    The case of Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151 suggests a two-fold test for a 'constitutional statute':
    • that it conditions the legal relationship between _______ and State
    • that it changes the scope of fundamental constitutional rights

    Correct Answer
    citizen
    Explanation
    The case of Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151 suggests a two-fold test for a 'constitutional statute'. The first condition is that it conditions the legal relationship between citizen and State. This means that the statute must have an impact on the legal rights and obligations of citizens in relation to the State. The second condition is that it changes the scope of fundamental constitutional rights. This means that the statute must have an effect on the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

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  • 24. 

    Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932] AC 526 is an Australian case which supports the argument that the UK Parliament can bind its successors to the ______ ___ ____ of future enactments.

    Correct Answer
    manner and form
    Explanation
    This Australian case, Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932] AC 526, provides support for the argument that the UK Parliament has the power to bind its successors to the manner and form of future enactments. This means that the Parliament can establish specific procedures and requirements that must be followed when passing new laws, ensuring consistency and continuity in the legislative process across different administrations.

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  • 25. 

    By s2(4) of the European Communities Act 1972 the courts are entitled to assume that Parliament has the general and continuing intention to uphold rights given by EU law. So in a case of apparently accidental conflict in a later Act the courts would not be obliged to give effect to the later Act.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    This is true as was confirmed in Factortame (No.1) [1990] 2 AC 85.

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  • 26. 

    'If the time should come when our Parliament deliberately passes an Act with the intention of repudiating the [TFEU] or any provision in it – or intentionally of acting inconsistently with it – and says so in express terms – then I should have thought that it would be the duty of our courts to follow the statute of Parliament.' This is a quote from Lord Denning.  From which case is it taken?

    • A.

      Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] 2 AC 557

    • B.

      Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2003] QB 151

    • C.

      Factortame (No.1) [1990] 2 AC 85

    • D.

      Macarthys v Smith [1979] ICR 785

    Correct Answer
    D. Macarthys v Smith [1979] ICR 785
  • 27. 

    The courts have the power to review legislation for compatibility with EU law but have never declared an Act a nullity or _______ an Act for incompatibility with EU law. This is because the constitutional position is that the courts are interpreting the effect of later legislation in line with the provisions of earlier legislation (i.e. section 2(4) of the 1972 Act).

    Correct Answer
    quashed
    Explanation
    The courts have the power to review legislation for compatibility with EU law but have never declared an Act a nullity or quashed an Act for incompatibility with EU law. This is because the constitutional position is that the courts are interpreting the effect of later legislation in line with the provisions of earlier legislation (i.e. section 2(4) of the 1972 Act). This means that even if a court finds an Act to be incompatible with EU law, it cannot directly invalidate or quash the Act. Instead, it is the responsibility of the Parliament to amend or repeal the Act if necessary.

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  • 28. 

    Factortame (No. 1) [1990] 2 AC 85 also established that the courts had the power to ______ legislation for compatibility with EU law, contrary to the general principle that the courts cannot question an Act of Parliament.  

    Correct Answer
    review
    Explanation
    Factortame (No. 1) [1990] 2 AC 85 established that the courts had the power to review legislation for compatibility with EU law. This means that the courts can assess whether a law passed by Parliament is in line with EU law and can declare it invalid if it is not. This is contrary to the general principle that the courts cannot question an Act of Parliament, showing that the courts' power to review legislation in this context is an exception to the usual rule.

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  • 29. 

    The Human Rights Act 1998 has a weaker method of incorporation than the European Communities Act 1972. Section 3 deals with how courts should give effect to the Convention when applying legislation: Section 3(1) - __ ___ __ __ __ ________ __ __ __, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights.

    Correct Answer
    as far as it is possible to do so
    Explanation
    Section 3(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 states that courts must interpret legislation in a way that is compatible with the Convention rights, as far as it is possible to do so. This means that courts should strive to interpret legislation in a way that upholds and protects human rights, but only to the extent that it is within their power to do so. This suggests that there may be instances where it is not possible to interpret legislation in a way that is compatible with the Convention rights, and in such cases, the courts may not be able to give effect to the rights as fully as they would like.

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  • 30. 

    Dicey's view was that Parliamentary supremacy requires that 'no person or body shall have the right to override legislation made by Parliament'. This does not accord with the ECJ's view of EU law.  The ECJ in Costa v ENEL (Case 6/64) [1964] stated that EU treaties were 'a _________ limitation of their sovereign rights, against which a subsequent unilateral act incompatible with the concept of the Community cannot prevail.  

    Correct Answer
    permanent
    Explanation
    The ECJ's view of EU law is that EU treaties impose a permanent limitation on the sovereign rights of member states. This means that any subsequent unilateral act by a member state that is incompatible with the concept of the EU cannot prevail over EU law. This contradicts Dicey's view of Parliamentary supremacy, which holds that no person or body should have the right to override legislation made by Parliament.

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