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.
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.