Thursday, March 14, 2013

The legal sources of the British constitution

It follows from this that, in the absence of a formal constitution, the legal sources of the
British constitution are the same as the sources of law generally:

• European Union law
The law of the European Union is incorporated into English law by virtue of the
European Communities Act 1972, which came into force on 1 January 1973. In order
to enable European Union law to apply uniformly across the Union, it prevails over the
law of individual member states.

• Acts of Parliament
For matters not affected by the European Union, Acts of Parliament have the highest
status in the United Kingdom.

• Equity
The principles of equity were originally designed to correct defi ciencies in the common
law, and developed into a system of its own.

• Common law
This is the law developed by the judges in cases coming before the courts.

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