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Chapter

Cover European Constitutional Law

1. Constitutional History  

From Paris to Lisbon

This introductory chapter assesses whether there is a European constitution. When examined in the light of the broader historical tradition, the European Union has a constitution. And this view firmly corresponds to the self-understanding of the European legal order. The ‘real’ problem of the European Union is not whether there is a European constitution, but rather that there is ‘too much constitutional law’; the European Treaties alone contain 413 articles. Length is unfortunately not the only problem of the European constitution, for unlike more mature legal orders, the European constitutional order still struggles with its ‘vocabulary’. The semantic confusions are partly the result of the constant legal revolutions within the European Union. This book then aims to reflect the judicial and legislative practice of the Union as at October 31, 2020. It provides a guide through the most important theories and realities of the European Union law.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

26. Brexit: the Legal Dimension  

Steve Peers and Darren Harvey

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, following the results of the Brexit referendum of June 2016. How does the process for leaving the EU work, and what legal issues does it raise?

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 European Union Law

27. Brexit: the legal dimension  

Steve Peers and Darren Harvey

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, following the results of the Brexit referendum of June 2016. This chapter examines how the process for leaving the EU works and considers some of the key legal issues raised by the withdrawal of a Member State from the Union. Having first considered withdrawal from the EU prior to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the chapter turns to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and the legal requirements imposed by that provision on the process of leaving the EU. This is followed by an examination of the UK–EU Withdrawal Agreement and the rules that govern the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

18. The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998  

One of the most fundamental aspects of any constitution are the provisions and measures that protect the rights and freedoms of individuals. In the UK, rights protection is markedly different to that in America, in chief because there is no entrenched Bill of Rights. Rights protection is dominated by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), incorporated by the Human Rights Act 1998, which sets out a number of positive rights that are actionable in the UK courts. This chapter discusses the ways in which these rights are protected in the UK Constitution. It discusses the courts’ historic civil liberties approach and common law protection of rights, before then examining the development, incorporation, and application of the ECHR. The chapter also explores the way in which the various sections of the Human Rights Act 1998 work to ensure appropriate enforcement and protection of rights in UK law.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: EU Law

Stefano Melloni v Ministerio Fiscal (Case C-399/11), EU:C:2013:107, 26 February 2013  

Essential Cases: EU Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Stefano Melloni v Ministerio Fiscal (Case C-399/11), EU:C:2013:107, 26 February 2013. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Noreen O'Meara.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: EU Law

Stefano Melloni v Ministerio Fiscal (Case C-399/11), EU:C:2013:107, 26 February 2013  

Essential Cases: EU Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Stefano Melloni v Ministerio Fiscal (Case C-399/11), EU:C:2013:107, 26 February 2013. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Noreen O’Meara.

Chapter

Cover Civil Liberties & Human Rights

1. Introduction  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This introductory chapter provides an overview of the main themes covered in the present volume. It first considers the political context in which the discussion of the law is to take place. It then discusses human rights and civil liberties; the meaning of rights; protection of rights and liberties within the UK Constitution; the international context of the monitoring of human rights; and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

11. Parliamentary Sovereignty within the European Union  

This chapter examines the way in which the UK’s membership in the European Economic Community (EEC) prompted changes in the domestic constitutional order. The discussions include the founding principles of the Treaty of Rome; the accession of the UK into the EEC; EEC law, parliamentary sovereignty, and the UK courts; and the horizontal and vertical effects of directives. The chapter explores the controversies engendered by the Maastricht, Amsterdam, and Lisbon Treaties; and concludes by assessing in what senses continued EC membership in the early part of the twenty-first century might have entailed a loss of the UK’s ‘sovereignty’ to a federal European constitution and a rebalancing of power within the domestic constitution between Parliament and the courts.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

13. Delegated Legislation  

This chapter is about delegated legislation, also called ‘subordinate’ and ‘secondary’ legislation made by UK ministers. Ministers use delegated legislation for a variety of purposes: to bring sections of Acts of Parliament into force; to fill in the detail of frameworks created by Acts of Parliament; and, most controversially, to repeal and amend Acts of Parliament. It considers why the constitution allows ministers (part of the executive) to make this type of legislation and the process by which it is made. It includes two mini case studies; on a controversial attempt by the government to abolish numerous institutions through powers conferred by the Public Bodies Act 2011; and the law-making powers given to ministers by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019.