Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Legal skills and debates in Scotland
Legal skills and debates in Scotland

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3  Parliament and the judiciary

The constitutional and institutional framework in the UK promotes the idea that Parliaments should make law and the judiciary should interpret and apply it, and that these dividing lines should not be crossed. The principles of the separation of powers and parliamentary sovereignty both contribute to this idea. In addition, the principle of judicial deference and the declaratory theory of law operate to restrict the role of the judiciary to applying rather than making the law, and not questioning the enacted will of Parliament. You learn more about these ideas in this section. Together, these concepts support the argument that the judiciary should not and does not usurp or challenge the sovereign law-making power of Parliament. Whether they should, and whether they actually do in practice are of course very different questions with, as you will see, potentially quite different answers.