<i>A Very British Revolution?</i>

Neil MacCormick

in Questioning Sovereignty

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268765
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713118 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

A Very British Revolution?

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This chapter examines whether there was a revolution in Britain in 1972, whether the constitution was then overthrown by stealth when the government at the time procured the enactment by a narrow majority of the European Communities Act 1972, whether the referendum of 1975 was a belated democratic legitimation of a revolution already accomplished, or whether the revolution remained on hold until the House of Lords finally decided in Factortame v Secretary of State for Transport that traditional parliamentary sovereignty had been abandoned, and a later Act of Parliament might be disapplied to honour a commitment to European Community law confirmed by the earlier. Sir William Wade has put his high authority behind the ‘revolution thesis’, but his argument has been countered in vigorous fashion by Trevor Allan.

Keywords: revolution; Britain; constitution; parliamentary sovereignty; William Wade; Trevor Allan; European Communities Act; United Kingdom; House of Lords; parliament

Chapter.  9279 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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