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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in M v Home Office [1994] 1 AC 377, House of Lords (also known as Re M). The case considered whether the courts had the power to issue injunctions against government departments and the ministers attached to them, and whether the rule of law required that those departments and ministers could be held in contempt of court for breach of court orders. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in M v Home Office [1994] 1 AC 377, House of Lords (also known as Re M). The case considered whether the courts had the power to issue injunctions against government departments and the ministers attached to them, and whether the rule of law required that those departments and ministers could be held in contempt of court for breach of court orders. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in M v Home Office [1994] 1 AC 377, House of Lords (also known as Re M). The case considered whether the courts had the power to issue injunctions against government departments and the ministers attached to them, and whether the rule of law required that those departments and ministers could be held in contempt of court for breach of court orders. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

This chapter explores the key institutions—the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary—and considers the relevance of the principle of the separation of powers in respect of the UK Constitution. It begins with a discussion of the functions fulfilled by these institutions, including an examination of their structure and key roles, allowing fuller exploration of the separation of powers doctrine in the UK Constitution. In respect of this, the chapter identifies a common distinction drawn between what is known as the pure and partial separation of powers. One favours total separation, the latter allowing a degree of overlap to the point of ensuring a system of checks and balances. Application of this distinction enables broader exploration of the UK’s application of the separation of powers doctrine.

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This chapter focuses on the executive, the branch of government responsible for initiating and implementing the laws and for acting where necessary to secure the interests of the state. We trace its development out of a medieval model of government structured around the king and his court, to a modern world of offices exercising executive functions, grouped under the legacy term ‘the Crown’. The resulting institutions display a complicated pattern of law and custom, and legal concepts and principles relate to them often in convoluted ways. Our analysis focuses on how executive power is normally understood from the legal point of view—deriving from an authorizing statute via rules made within a government department to eventual application by subordinate officials or agents—and traces some of the ways the courts monitor that process. But we also examine the executive’s non-statutory or ‘prerogative’ powers, the two main compartments of which are treated separately, as the general executive powers and the general administrative powers of the Crown respectively.

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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in O’Brien v Ministry of Justice (formerly Department of Constitutional Affairs) [2013] UKSC 6, Supreme Court. This case considered whether part-time judges were entitled to judicial pensions, but more generally considers the extent to which judicial remuneration is constitutionally protected from political influence. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Blackburn v Attorney General [1971] WLR 1037, Court of Appeal (Civil Division). This note concerns three issues, (i) the capacity of the government to enter into treaties, (ii) the ability of Parliament to legislate for the UK to enter the European Community, as was, and (iii) whether Parliament can place limits on its sovereignty, and that of future parliaments. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

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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. This chapter discusses the meaning of separation of powers; what judges say about the separation of powers in the UK; what statutes say about the separation of powers in the UK; whether the UK Government is based on the separation of powers; the relationship between the executive and the legislature, the relationship between the executive and the legislature in the process of departure from the European Union, the whip system and backbench revolts, the relationship between the executive and the judiciary, the independence of the judiciary, the appointment and dismissal of judges, the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, and the relationship between the courts and Parliament. UK law

Chapter

This chapter explores the key institutions—the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary—and considers the relevance of the principle of the separation of powers in respect of the UK Constitution. It begins with a discussion of the functions fulfilled by these institutions, including an examination of their structure and key roles, allowing fuller exploration of the separation of powers doctrine in the UK Constitution. The chapter identifies a common distinction drawn between what is known as the pure and partial separation of powers: The former favours total separation, while the latter allows a degree of overlap to the point of ensuring a system of checks and balances. Application of this distinction enables broader exploration of the UK’s application of the separation of powers doctrine.

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This chapter examines the division of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. It considers the debate as to whether, why, and how separation of powers should occur in the UK’s constitutional system. Political constitutionalists tend to downplay the role of courts, while legal constitutionalists tend to be keen on using the idea of separation of powers to bolster the importance of the courts as a major ‘check and balance’ on the institutions that carry out the other two functions (legislative and executive). The discussions also cover the separation of power between the Crown and Parliament; judicial analysis of separation of powers; and interactions between Parliament, the executive, and judges. The ‘Westminster model’ is also explored.

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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22, Supreme Court. This case revisited the legality of ouster clauses discussed in Anisminic ([1969] 2 AC 147) in the context of the reviewability of decisions made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 39, Supreme Court. The Court was asked to consider whether the Henry VIII powers granted under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 permitted the Secretary of State for Justice to introduce a residency test into the provisions regulating legal aid. The case raises wider questions about the oversight and review of Henry VIII powers. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 39, Supreme Court. The Court was asked to consider whether the Henry VIII powers granted under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 permitted the Secretary of State for Justice to introduce a residency test into the provisions regulating legal aid. The case raises wider questions about the oversight and review of Henry VIII powers. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 39, Supreme Court. The Court was asked to consider whether the Henry VIII powers granted under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 permitted the Secretary of State for Justice to introduce a residency test into the provisions regulating legal aid. The case raises wider questions about the oversight and review of Henry VIII powers. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the origins and meaning of the separation of powers doctrine. It highlights the contribution of French nobleman and parliamentary magistrate Charles Louis de Secondat, otherwise known as Baron de Montesquieu, to political theory: L’Esprit des Lois (The Spirit of the Laws). The chapter also addresses the question of whether there is a separation of powers in the UK constitution. Differences of opinion between academics and judges as to the importance of the separation of powers doctrine to an understanding of the UK constitution are reviewed. Examples of overlap between the three functions of government are presented, and the key reforms made by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 are discussed.

Chapter

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter considers law as a concept and in its context. It examines key legal concepts such as law and morality, jurisprudence, the legitimacy of laws, the rule of law, and the separation of powers, looking at these in both theory and practice. It includes consideration of the virtue, duty, and consequentialist ethical theories, and legal theories including natural law, legal positivism, realism, and critical legal studies.

Chapter

The Q&A series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each chapter includes typical questions, diagram problem and essay answer plans, suggested answers, notes of caution, tips on obtaining extra marks, the key debates on each topic, and suggestions on further reading. This chapter considers the constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and Northern Ireland. The questions deal with issues such as whether a written constitution would make a great improvement to the UK system of government; the purpose of constitutional conventions; Dicey’s theory of the rule of law; the meaning of ‘separation of powers’; and its role in the constitutional arrangements of the UK and devolution or federalism.

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When examining the recent evolution of the Constitution, it is argued that the UK has become more ‘legal’ as opposed to ‘political’. The last twenty years has seen a growth in legislation and case law, particularly that of the Supreme Court, regulating aspects of the UK constitution. This chapter investigates this claim. It argues that, whilst we can point to a growth in both legislation and case law, when we look at the case law more closely we can see that the courts balance an array of factors when determining how far to control executive actions. These factors include an analysis of the relative institutional features and constitutional role of the legislature, the executive and the courts. This evidence, in turn, questions the traditional understanding of the separation of powers as a hidden component of the UK constitution. It is not the case that courts merely balance the rule of law and parliamentary sovereignty in order to determine how far to control executive actions. Rather, the courts determine how to make this balance through the lens of the separation of powers, evaluating institutional and constitutional features. In doing so, they are upholding necessary checks and balances in the UK constitution.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the origins and meaning of the separation of powers doctrine. It highlights the contribution of French nobleman and parliamentary magistrate Charles Louis de Secondat, otherwise known as Baron de Montesquieu, to political theory: L’Esprit des Lois (The Spirit of the Laws). The chapter also addresses the question of whether there is a separation of powers in the UK constitution. Differences of opinion between academics and judges as to the importance of the separation of powers doctrine to an understanding of the UK constitution are reviewed. Examples of overlap between the three functions of government are presented, and the key reforms made by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 are discussed.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Fire Brigades Union [1995] 2 AC 513, House of Lords. In this case, the House of Lords considered whether the Secretary of State could use the prerogative power to set up an alternative compensation scheme to that laid down in statute. It raises questions as regards the limits of the prerogative power, and the separation of powers in the United Kingdom’s constitution. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.