University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

“Constitutional statutes” still alive

Barczentewicz, Mikolaj (2014) “Constitutional statutes” still alive Law Quarterly Review, 130.

[img] Text
''Constitutional statutes'' still alive.pdf - Accepted version Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (123kB)


In R. (Buckinghamshire CC) v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] UKSC 3; [2014] 1 W.L.R. 324 (HS2) the Supreme Court has provided a good reason to think that the idea of a hierarchy of statutes within the legal system of the United Kingdom is still alive, despite the fact that some commentators have already heralded its early demise (see e.g. Nicholas Bamforth, “Same-sex partnerships: some comparative constitutional lessons” (2007) E.H.R.L.R. 47 at 48). After the famous passage in Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2002] EWHC 195; [2003] 1 Q.B. 151 where Laws L.J. introduced the distinction between “constitutional” and “ordinary” statutes (at [62]), there indeed seemed to be some reticence among their Lordships to make use of this distinction and clarify its practical import. Among others, Lord Bingham of Cornhill in Robinson v Secretary of State for Northern Ireland [2002] UKHL 32; [2002] N.I. 390 at [11] and Lord Hope in H. v Lord Advocate [2012] UKSC 24; [2013] 1 A.C. 413 at [30] have suggested a special role for constitutional statutes (respectively, being subject to a special mode of interpretation and being immune from implied repeal), but voices like those still remain isolated. In HS2 Lord Neuberger and Lord Mance appear to have decided to contribute to changing that situation by not only endorsing Laws L.J.’s distinction between two types of statutes (HS2 at [208]), but also by hinting that constitutional statutes and principles may be in some way entrenched against change by later constitutional statutes (at [207]).

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Law
Authors :
Date : 27 July 2014
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2014 Sweet and Maxwell
Uncontrolled Keywords : United Kingdom; European Union law; Constitutional law
Additional Information : Case note on R (HS2 Action Alliance Ltd) v SoS for Transport [2014] UKSC 3. Date Written: July 27, 2014
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 21 Aug 2017 13:15
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:55

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800