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Book

Cover Public Law Directions
Public Law Directions provides a balance of depth, detail, context, and critique. The aim is to empower readers to evaluate the law, understand its practical application, and confidently approach assessments. The text offers scene-setting introductions and highlighted case extracts, making the practical importance of the law clear. It shows readers when and how to critically evaluate the law by introducing the key areas of debate and encourages a questioning attitude towards the law. Topics covered include: the UK constitution; constitutional principles and values; power in the UK including an examination of the three arms of state; an analysis of the relationship between the individual and the state; and a close examination of human rights, including a look at the Human Rights Act 1998.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

1. Human rights: the idea and the law  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter discusses the idea of human rights, as well as a range of political and constitutional issues to which they give rise. The general history of the international protection of human rights from which the UK system is derived is also introduced. The chapter furthermore presents examples of human rights abuses specific to the UK that are, to some extent, at the mild end of the full spectrum of human rights abuses found in other parts of Europe or in the rest of the world. The concept of human rights assumes that all reasonable human beings share the feeling that, in whatever they do, they need to accord proper respect to the dignity of all individual human beings. States and governments, in particular, must ensure that individual dignity is respected in their laws and practices.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

19. Human Rights III: The Human Rights Act 1998  

This chapter discusses the main provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and considers its implications for the understandings attached to the core constitutional principles of parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. The chapter argues that the Blair government’s rapid and determined efforts to convince Parliament to pass the HRA demonstrates that members of the first New Labour administration did not share the simplistic view of democracy embraced by the Conservative Party during the judicial supremacism episode. The 1998 Act may be criticised on the basis that it transfers a dangerous amount of political power from the government to the judges, but the sentiments evinced by many Conservative MPs on this issue had little to commend them from a constitutional perspective.

Chapter

Cover The Changing Constitution

3. Human Rights and the UK Constitution  

Colm O’Cinneide

UK law relating to civil liberties and human rights has undergone radical transformation over the last few decades, in part because of the influence exerted by the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the ECHR’) on British law. The Human Rights Act 1998 (‘the HRA’), which incorporates the civil and political rights protected by the ECHR into national law, now plays a key role in the UK’s constitutional system. It complements legislative mechanisms for protecting individual rights—such as the Equality Act 2010 —and imposes significant constraints on the exercise of public power. However, the current state of UK human rights law is controversial. The HRA is regularly subject to political attack, while leading politicians bemoan the influence exerted by the ECHR over UK law: yet no consensus exists as to how human rights should best be protected within the framework of the British constitution. It remains to be seen whether Brexit will change the dynamics of this debate.

Book

Cover Public Law

John Stanton and Craig Prescott

With its fresh, modern approach and unique combination of practical application and theoretically critical discussion, Public Law guides students to a clear understanding of not only the fundamental principles of constitutional and administrative law, but how they are relevant in everyday life. Topics include: the UK Constitution; the institutions of government and the separation of powers; the rule of law; parliamentary sovereignty; the European Union; and Brexit. It also looks at the Crown and the royal prerogative; central government; Parliament; and devolution and local government. Next it presents a number of judicial reviews in the following: illegality, irrationality and proportionality, and procedural impropriety. Finally, it considers administrative justice, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act, and human rights in the UK.

Book

Cover Public Law

Andrew Le Sueur, Maurice Sunkin, and Jo Eric Khushal Murkens

Public Law: Text, Cases, and Materials offers a fresh approach to the study of constitutional and administrative law. It provides clear and insightful commentary on the key institutions, legal principles, and conventions, and blends this with a carefully selected and diverse range of materials and case studies. Part I covers the fundamentals of the constitution. Part II examines the executive function including protecting rights, government and accountability. Part III looks at the legislative function including primary and delegated legislation, European Union treaties, and legislative processes. Part IV considers judicial and dispute resolution functions in terms of the judiciary, tribunals, the ombuds human rights, and constitutional change. Part V examines the European Union, including the institutions of the European Union and joining and leaving the Union.

Book

Cover Public Law

Andrew Le Sueur, Maurice Sunkin, and Jo Eric Khushal Murkens

Public Law: Text, Cases, and Materials offers a fresh approach to the study of constitutional and administrative law. It provides clear and insightful commentary on the key institutions, legal principles, and conventions, and blends this with a carefully selected and diverse range of materials and case studies. Part I covers the fundamentals of the constitution. Part II examines the executive function including protecting rights, government and accountability Part III looks at the legislative function including primary and delegated legislation, European Union treaties, and legislative processes. Part IV considers judicial and dispute resolution functions in terms of the judiciary, tribunals, the ombuds human rights, and constitutional change; Part V examines the European Union, including th institutions of the European Union, joining and leaving the Union and European Law in the UK courts.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

17. Human Rights I: Traditional Perspectives  

In contrast to the constitutional systems adopted by most western democratic nations, the United Kingdom’s form of governance has traditionally not accepted the principle that certain ‘human rights’ should enjoy a normative legal status that placed them beyond the reach of laws made through the ordinary legislative process. Such ‘civil liberties’ or ‘human rights’ as we possess exist in law at the sufferance of parliamentary majorities. Human rights protection has nonetheless been an important part of the courts’ constitutional role, both in terms of the interpretation of legislation and the development of the common law. The organising principle in respect of civil liberties in Britain is that individuals may engage in any activity not prohibited by statute or common law. In addition, neither other individuals nor government officials may interfere with an individual’s legal entitlements unless they can identify a statutory or common law justification for so doing. This chapter discusses the traditional approach taken by Parliament and the courts to several key areas of what we would now regard as human rights law; the regulation of public protest, the protection of personal privacy, and to certain aspects of freedom of expression

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

17. The Human Rights Act 1998  

This chapter addresses the Human Rights Act 1998. The Human Rights Act provides two ways for the courts to ensure compliance with Convention rights: where legislation is not human rights-compliant; and where a public authority has acted incompatibly with an individual’s rights. By providing a new benchmark for measuring UK legislation for compatibility with Convention rights, the Act gives judges a powerful interpreting role which effectively allows them to review Acts of Parliament. At the same time, the Act was carefully drafted to respect and preserve parliamentary sovereignty and does not give the UK courts power to invalidate, overrule, or strike down an Act of Parliament that is incompatible with a Convention right; and while the Human Rights Act has special status as a constitutional statute, it is not entrenched and cannot override other statutes.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to European Law

6. (Legal) Primacy  

This chapter assesses the ‘primacy’ of European law. When the European Union was born, the EU Treaties did not expressly mention the primacy of European law. Did this mean that primacy was a matter to be determined by each national legal order; or was there a European Union doctrine of primacy? There are two perspectives on the primacy question. According to the European perspective, all Union law prevails over all national law. This ‘absolute’ view is not, however, shared by the Member States. According to the national perspective, the primacy of European law is relative. The chapter considers the three national challenges to the absolute primacy of European law. The first arose in the context of fundamental rights. The second relates to the contested question of who is the ultimate arbiter of the scope of the European Union’s competences, while the third concerns the protection of the constitutional identity of the Member States.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Human Rights and Civil Liberties

4. The Human Rights Act 1998  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, diagram answer plans, caution advice, suggested answers, illustrative diagrams and flowcharts, and advice on gaining extra marks. Concentrate Q&A Human Rights & Civil Liberties offers expert advice on what to expect from your human rights and civil liberties exam, how best to prepare, and guidance on what examiners are really looking for. Written by experienced examiners, it provides: clear commentary with each question and answer; bullet point and diagram answer plans; tips to make your answer really stand out from the crowd; and further reading suggestions at the end of every chapter. The book should help you to: identify typical law exam questions; structure a first-class answer; avoid common mistakes; show the examiner what you know; all making your answer stand out from the crowd. This chapter covers the Human Rights Act 1998, including its central provisions, its impact on the protection of human rights in the UK, and its potential repeal.

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Cover International Human Rights Law

24. Within the State  

Andrew Byrnes and Catherine Renshaw

This chapter examines the state’s role in promoting and protecting human rights. The chapter deals with substantive protections: the nature, status, and scope of human rights protections under national law. These include the incorporation or other use of international human rights norms in domestic law, constitutional guarantees of rights, human rights legislation, protection under the general law, including the concept of the rule of law, and the common law. The chapter next considers institutional protections of human rights and briefly outlines the types of institutions that commonly play a role in the implementation, monitoring, and protection of human rights, including the courts, the executive, and the legislature, as well as mechanisms such as ombudsmen and national human rights institutions.

Book

Cover Complete Public Law
Titles in the Complete series combine extracts from a wide range of primary materials with clear explanatory text to provide readers with a complete introductory resource. Complete Public Law combines clear explanatory text and practical learning features with extracts from a wide range of primary and secondary materials. The book has been structured with the needs of undergraduate courses in mind. Opening with consideration of basic constitutional principles (in which no previous knowledge is assumed), the chapters move on to cover all other essential areas, before closing with consideration of the principles and procedures of judicial review. This edition includes substantial updates to address the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and the constitutional implications these new arrangements have, including in the context of devolution.

Book

Cover Public Law Concentrate
Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. Public Law Concentrate looks at all aspects of constitutional law including sources, rule of law, separation of powers, role of the executive, constitutional monarchy, and the Royal Prerogative. It also discusses parliamentary sovereignty and the changing constitutional relationship between the UK and the EU together with the status of EU retained and converted law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 as amended by the 2020 Act, the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation effective from 1 January 2021, and the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020. Also covered are: administrative law, judicial review, human rights, police powers, public order, terrorism, the constitutional status of the Sewel Convention, legislative consent motion procedure, use of secondary legislation by the executive to amend law and make regulations creating criminal offences, especially under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, the separation of powers implications of Henry VIII Clauses, the constitutional role of the Horuse of Lords in scrutinizing and amending primary legislation, the Speakers’ Ruling in the House of Commons on Points of Order and the Contempt of Parliament Motion, whip system, back bench revolts, confidence and supply agreements in government formation, and current legislative and executive devolution in Northern Ireland. The book additionally examines the continuing impact of the HRA 1998 and the European Court of Human Rights on parliamentary sovereignty and the significance of the 2021 Independent Review of the HRA.

Book

Cover European Constitutional Law
European Constitutional Law uses a distinctive two-part structure to examine the legal foundations and powers of the European Union. The text takes a critical approach to ensure awareness of the intricacies of European constitutional law. Part I looks at the constitutional foundations including a constitutional history. This part also looks at the governmental structure of the European constitution. Part II moves on to governmental powers. It looks at legislative, external, executive, and judicial powers. It ends with a study of limiting powers and EU fundamental rights.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

20. Human Rights IV: The Impact of the Human Rights Act 1998  

This chapter analyses some of the leading cases in which the courts addressed different aspects of the Human Rights Act 1998, and draws out the constitutional implications of the courts’ initial conclusions. The discussions cover the interlinked issues of the extent to which the courts have recognised a distinction between Convention articles and Convention Rights, the approach taken to statutory interpretation mandated by s 3, and the use of Declarations of Incompatibility under s 4; the doctrine of judicial ‘deference’ to legislative policy decisions; the ‘horizontality’ of the Act and its impact on the development of the common law; and the status of proportionality as a ground of review of executive action. The chapter concludes with an assessment of whether the Act has triggered a shift in understandings on the proper scope of the doctrines of the sovereignty of Parliament and the rule of law within the modern constitutional order.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

8. Parliamentary Privilege  

This chapter, which examines the so-called parliamentary privileges of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, begins by discussing Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689. It then explores over three hundred years of the history of parliamentary privilege in five general areas: (i) the houses’ power to regulate their own composition through the admission, retention, and expulsion of their members; (ii) the publication of details of house business; (iii) the admissibility before the courts of such published material; (iv) the concept of ‘contempt of the house’; and (v) the regulation of MPs’ ethical standards. The chapter also analyses several seminal cases in which the courts have adjudicated on both the nature and extent of parliamentary privilege and considers how case law in relation to this area of the constitution balances the sometimes competing concepts of the sovereignty of Parliament, the rule of law, and the separation of powers.

Chapter

Cover The Changing Constitution

2. Parliamentary Sovereignty in a Changing Constitutional Landscape  

Mark Elliott

Parliamentary sovereignty is often presented as the central principle of the United Kingdom’s constitution. In this sense, it might be thought to be a constant: a fixed point onto which we can lock, even when the constitution is otherwise in a state of flux. That the constitution presently is—and has for some time been— in a state of flux is hard to dispute. Over the last half-century or so, a number of highly significant developments have occurred, including the UK’s joining— and now leaving—the European Union; the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998; the devolution of legislative and administrative authority to new institutions in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh; and the increasing prominence accorded by the courts to the common law as a repository of fundamental constitutional rights and values. Each of these developments raises important questions about the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty. The question might be thought of in terms of the doctrine’s capacity to withstand, or accommodate, developments that may, at least at first glance, appear to be in tension with it. Such an analysis seems to follow naturally if we are wedded to an orthodox, and perhaps simplistic, account of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the concept is understood in unyielding and absolutist terms: as something that is brittle, and which must either stand or fall in the face of changing circumstances. Viewed from a different angle, however, the developments of recent years and decades might be perceived as an opportunity to think about parliamentary sovereignty in a different, and arguably more useful, way—by considering how the implications of this still-central concept are being shaped by the changing nature of the constitutional landscape within which it sits. That is the task with which this chapter is concerned.

Book

Cover Cases and Materials on Constitutional and Administrative Law

Brian Thompson, Michael Gordon, and Adam Tucker

Cases & Materials on Constitutional and Administrative Law is an invaluable resource. Extracts have been chosen from a wide range of historical and contemporary cases and materials to illustrate the reasoning processes of the courts and to show how legal principles are developed. The extracts from the leading cases in the field are combined with legal, political, and philosophical materials and linked together with explanatory text, alongside extensive notes and questions for discussion. The book takes a critical look at the main doctrines of constitutional law as well as the principles of administrative law, examining the operation of the constitution in relation to Parliament, the government, and the citizen. Incisive commentary throughout the text provides explanation and analysis of the key issues and challenges in constitutional and administrative law. The thirteenth edition has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest developments in legislation, case law, and politics, including the process and implications of exiting the EU, and the UK’s new post-Brexit legal arrangements; continuing change and challenges to the devolution settlement in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; major Supreme Court decisions in Miller (No.2) / Cherry, UNISON, the Scottish Continuity Bill Reference, and Privacy International; new developments in relation to ministerial responsibility and parliamentary accountability (including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic); proposed repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011; and discussion of proposals for reforms of judicial review and tribunal appeal processes, as well as proposed reform of ombudsmen. This text continues to provide instant access to an unrivalled collection of up-to-date judgments, statutory provisions, official publications, and other policy materials.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to the English Legal System

3. Sources of law: Authority and process  

This chapter considers how law is made in the UK, who makes it, and the constitutional principles which give them the authority for making it and imposing it on society. There is a detailed account of the legislative procedure of the UK Parliament, and the different types of legislation enacted by Parliament. The legislative functions of the devolved administrations are mentioned. The law-making functions of judges, particularly through case law and the interpretation of statutes, are also considered, as is the impact of the Council of Europe on human rights. Finally, an outline of the law-making processes of the European Union is given.