Do Judges Make Laws?

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Parliamentary sovereignty is the key stone in the British Constitution. If judges were to make law then they would be contradicting this doctrine. The legislative supremacy disqualifies the courts power to review the validity of legislation, refer to British Railway Board v Pickin . The objective of judges is to not make law but simply declare what the law had always been. Acts of Parliament are the highest form of authority and the courts hands are tied by it. But through the doctrine of precedent, the judicial function of declaring and applying the law has a ‘quasi-legislative effect’.
The rules of precedent themselves are judge made, except where a statute has intervened. Occasionally, judges have to decide on a case where there is
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The House of Lords also laid down the guidelines for liability for nervous shock first. Refer to Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire. It is also because of judicial decisions that new crimes such as rape within a marriage are considered a crime today. Refer to R v R. Although parliament has attempted to cover every aspect of the common law in statutory form, they still embody the initial principles.
In 1966 the House of Lords announced that it would in future be prepared to depart from a former decision by the House when it appeared right to do so . It is vital that the judges update the law according to the society and values today. An example of this case of R v R where a man was charged for raping his wife. This matter was brought up to the House of Lords, the judges pointed out that the ‘status of a married woman in our law have changed quite dramatically. A husband and wife are now for all practical purposes equal partners in marriage.’ They also highlighted that the common law is ‘capable of evolving in the light of changing social, economic and cultural developments.’ This implied that judges (House of Lords) can change the law only if it is a necessity.
It would be impractical for judges to not make law in some situations as both parties in the case would not want the judge to refuse to deal with the case and they would want the matter decided. ‘Judicial decisions are important as a source of law on matters where the government is
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