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EC Membership and the Judicialization of British Politics$
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Danny Nicol

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247790.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
EC Membership and the Judicialization of British Politics

Danny Nicol

Oxford University Press

This book explores whether parliamentarians' wittingly agreed to their relegation—examining what debate took place, how issues of parliamentary sovereignty were perceived, and how these perceptions evolved. It tells the story of how Parliament's legislative omnipotence came to be lost. For some 300 years the courts chose to adopt an essentially subordinate role as opposed to Parliament. They did so by formulating and adhering to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty as the constitution's dominant legal principle. The book focuses mainly on the question of parliamentary understandings of the legal impact of the United Kingdom's membership in the European Community where fundamental doctrines developed by the European Court of Justice conflicted directly with the legislative supremacy of Parliament. The decision to join the Community by Parliament illustrates a decision to switch from a politics-based model of governance to one firmly based on law. Factortame (No 2) brought about the end of 300 years of apparently unchallengeable statutes.

Keywords:   parliamentarians, parliamentary sovereignty, courts, constitution, European Community, Factortame

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