Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Human Rights Act
By Alison Young
The UK's Human Rights Act 1998 has been criticized for providing a weak protection of human rights. The principle of parliamentary legislative supremacy prevents entrenchment, meaning that courts cannot overturn legislation passed after the Act that contradicts Convention rights. This book investigates this assumption, arguing that the principle of parliamentary legislative supremacy is sufficiently flexible to enable a stronger protection of human rights in the UK, which can replicate the effect of entrenchment. Nevertheless, it is argued that the current protection should not be strengthened. If correctly interpreted, the Human Rights Act 1998 can facilitate democratic dialogue that enables UK courts to perform their proper correcting function to protect rights from abuse, while enabling the legislature to authoritatively determine contestable issues surrounding the extent to which human rights should be protected alongside other rights, interests, and goals of a particular society.
Publication Date: 12/6/2008