Essay about Constitutional Law and European Integration

1497 WordsApr 11, 20136 Pages
There are few cases that rival Factortame in being concurrently substantively clear and decisive, and perplexing as to its full impact. The scope of the change to the UK constitution that has been instigated by it and other European Court of Justice decisions has been conceptualised as ranging from a ‘legal evolution’ to ‘revolution’. Although some theories are more convincing than others, each faces its own weaknesses. However, notwithstanding the conclusion of this particular speculative debate, the processes of European integration has undoubtedly quickened the pace at which UK Parliament and courts as part of a globalised world have had to squarely confront these constitutional changes, especially the departure from Parliament’s…show more content…
There is a real difficulty in accepting this because it would suggest judicial whim may reverse a commitment that was reached democratic consensus among all branches of government and wider society through public referendum. This formidable weakness of Sir William Wade’s argument supports viewing Parliamentary sovereignty as, at least partly, a legal concept. Although the theory that it is possible for the EU to place substantive limits to Parliamentary sovereignty accommodates the ‘voluntary’ contractual argument and ‘functional requirement of EU’ arguments that Lord Bridge presents, it is not without limitations either. It fits well with Lord Bridge’s alternative reasonings because they suggest that Parliament does have the power to limit its own powers and that the present conflict should be tackled on principled bases. This is important because legal phenomenon arise out of case law and albeit sparse, his judgment was the only one to address the topic. However, the persuasiveness of this argument is reduced by the fact that it simply leads us to another equally difficult question of what legal means set the width of its powers. The judges themselves seem to be in disagreement amongst each other about this as Lord Hope says ‘measures enacted by Parliament’ itself whereas Laws LJ says the unwritten constitution as interpreted by the
Open Document