Parallel Sanctums: Equivalence of Constitutional Statutes and Convention Parliaments in Legal Safeguarding

The legal discourse set forth in the provided passages serves to extend the fundamental principle governing the dichotomy between constitutional and ordinary statutes to the realm of parliamentary conventions. This principle, which establishes the elevated status of constitutional statutes within the legal framework, finds resonance in the distinction between Convention Parliaments and ordinary Parliaments.

Just as constitutional statutes occupy a distinctive sphere due to their inherent impact on fundamental rights and the citizen-State relationship, Convention Parliaments similarly bear an exceptional character within the broader parliamentary framework. This equivalence is paramount, for it underscores the fundamental notion that both constitutional statutes and Convention Parliaments embody a distinct legal hierarchy that is separate from their ordinary counterparts.

By acknowledging this parallelism, we underscore the need to safeguard the integrity and significance of Convention Parliaments. A constitutional statute meticulously constructed and enacted within a Convention Parliament, fortified with a “Limited Amendment Window” clause limiting changes solely during the tenure of the convention parliament, serves as a belt and braces legal protection of the rights enshrined within the law. Just as the principle of implied repeal is inapplicable to constitutional statutes, so too should the foundational conventions that govern our parliamentary landscape be shielded from arbitrary alteration.

In summary, the legal principle that designates certain statutes as constitutional and elevates their status above ordinary statutes similarly extends to the realm of parliamentary conventions. Just as constitutional statutes are endowed with unique protections, Convention Parliaments equally warrant distinct consideration and protection within the larger parliamentary discourse. This symmetrical application reinforces the consistency of legal principles and underscores the significance of maintaining the sanctity of foundational legal structures, especially when fortified by explicit sunset clauses.

Conclusion: The intricate tapestry of legal history woven through the English Bill of Rights 1688 showcases a resolute stand against the repeal of Sections 2 and 3. These sections stand as pillars, representing the essence of constitutional safeguarding and historical continuity. By virtue of the constitution’s design, the Convention Parliament is afforded superior protection, standing as a testament to the wisdom drawn from tumultuous historical events, including civil strife and the pivotal Glorious Revolution. The tapestry of common law is enriched by the lessons of yesteryears, embracing a lineage of precedent, venerable statutes, enduring customs, and charters rooted in the principles of sound ‘positive law.’ Our judiciary’s role, historically and steadfastly, has been to strike down or render null and void laws that defy these tenets. In this intricate legal narrative, Section 2 stands as a bulwark against any encroachment on the convention parliament’s laws, it’s sovereignty and harmonic wisdom of all the trustees (Parliament, Crown and Judiciary) against the wickedness of absolutism, for the benefit of the subjects of England, whilst Section 3 resonates as an enduring tribute to the timeless significance of our ancient laws, customs, and charters, particularly those that stand as eternally binding.


II. Non obstantes made void. Exception.
And bee it further declared and enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That from and after this present Session of Parlyament noe Dispensation by Non obstante of or to any Statute or any part thereof shall be allowed but that the same shall be held void and of noe effect Except a Dispensation be allowed of in such Statute [and except in such Cases as shall be specially provided for by one or more Bill or Bills to be passed dureing this present Session of Parliament.

III. Proviso for Charters, Pardons, &c. granted before 23d October.¶Provided that noe Charter or Grant or Pardon granted before the three and twentyeth Day of October in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty nine shall be any wayes impeached or invalidated by this Act but that the same shall be and remaine of the same force and effect in Law and noe other then as if this Act had never beene made.

They unlawfully repealed section 2 &3 of the Bill of Rights 1688. Now you know why we are in the mess we are in! This will lead to another civil war – by design! Yet our Judges ignored the signs and the Act of Settlement 1701, which backed up the Bill of Rights 12 years on. Someone likes war and its not the people.

Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2002] EWHC 195 (Admin) (18 February 2002)

62. Where does this leave the constitutional position which I have stated? Mr Shrimpton would say that Factortame (No 1) was wrongly decided; and since the point was not argued, there is scope, within the limits of our law of precedent, to depart from it and to hold that implied repeal may bite on the ECA as readily as upon any other statute. I think that would be a wrong turning. My reasons are these. In the present state of its maturity the common law has come to recognise that there exist rights which should properly be classified as constitutional or fundamental: see for example such cases as Simms [2000] 2 AC 115 per Lord Hoffmann at 131, Pierson v Secretary of State [1998] AC 539, Leech [1994] QB 198, Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd. [1993] AC 534, and Witham [1998] QB 575. And from this a further insight follows. We should recognise a hierarchy of Acts of Parliament: as it were “ordinary” statutes and “constitutional” statutes. The two categories must be distinguished on a principled basis. In my opinion a constitutional statute is one which (a) conditions the legal relationship between citizen and State in some general, overarching manner, or (b) enlarges or diminishes the scope of what we would now regard as fundamental constitutional rights. (a) and (b) are of necessity closely related: it is difficult to think of an instance of (a) that is not also an instance of (b). The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Union, the Reform Acts which distributed and enlarged the franchise, the HRA, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998. The ECA clearly belongs in this family. It incorporated the whole corpus of substantive Community rights and obligations, and gave overriding domestic effect to the judicial and administrative machinery of Community law. It may be there has never been a statute having such profound effects on so many dimensions of our daily lives. The ECA is, by force of the common law, a constitutional statute.
[replace ECA with English Bill of Rights 1688]

63. Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not. For the repeal of a constitutional Act or the abrogation of a fundamental right to be effected by statute, the court would apply this test: is it shown that the legislature’s actual – not imputed, constructive or presumed – intention was to effect the repeal or abrogation? I think the test could only be met by express words in the later statute, or by words so specific that the inference of an actual determination to effect the result contended for was irresistible. The ordinary rule of implied repeal does not satisfy this test. Accordingly, it has no application to constitutional statutes. I should add that in my judgment general words could not be supplemented, so as to effect a repeal or significant amendment to a constitutional statute, by reference to what was said in Parliament by the minister promoting the Bill pursuant to Pepper v Hart [1993] AC 593. A constitutional statute can only be repealed, or amended in a way which significantly affects its provisions touching fundamental rights or otherwise the relation between citizen and State, by unambiguous words on the face of the later statute.

64. This development of the common law regarding constitutional rights, and as I would say constitutional statutes, is highly beneficial. It gives us most of the benefits of a written constitution, in which fundamental rights are accorded special respect. But it preserves the sovereignty of the legislature and the flexibility of our uncodified constitution. It accepts the relation between legislative supremacy and fundamental rights is not fixed or brittle: rather the courts (in interpreting statutes, and now, applying the HRA) will pay more or less deference to the legislature, or other public decision-maker, according to the subject in hand. Nothing is plainer than that this benign development involves, as I have said, the recognition of the ECA as a constitutional statute.

69. In my judgment (as will by now be clear) the correct analysis of that relationship involves and requires these following four propositions. (1) All the specific rights and obligations which EU law creates are by the ECA incorporated into our domestic law and rank supreme: that is, anything in our substantive law inconsistent with any of these rights and obligations is abrogated or must be modified to avoid the inconsistency. This is true even where the inconsistent municipal provision is contained in primary legislation. (2) The ECA is a constitutional statute: that is, it cannot be impliedly repealed. (3) The truth of (2) is derived, not from EU law, but purely from the law of England: the common law recognises a category of constitutional statutes. (4) The fundamental legal basis of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU rests with the domestic, not the European, legal powers. In the event, which no doubt would never happen in the real world, that a European measure was seen to be repugnant to a fundamental or constitutional right guaranteed by the law of England, a question would arise whether the general words of the ECA were sufficient to incorporate the measure and give it overriding effect in domestic law. But that is very far from this case.

70. I consider that the balance struck by these four propositions gives full weight both to the proper supremacy of Community law and to the proper supremacy of the United Kingdom Parliament. By the former, I mean the supremacy of substantive Community law. By the latter, I mean the supremacy of the legal foundation within which those substantive provisions enjoy their primacy. The former is guaranteed by propositions (1) and (2). The latter is guaranteed by propositions (3) and (4). If this balance is understood, it will be seen that these two supremacies are in harmony, and not in conflict. Mr Shrimpton’s argument is wrong because it would undermine the first supremacy; Miss Sharpston’s because it would undermine the second.

Graham Moore

Published by Graham Moore

I believe in Liberty, Freedom and fairness for all. Sick of political correctness and mind and thought control. The Rule of Law, Common Law.

4 thoughts on “Parallel Sanctums: Equivalence of Constitutional Statutes and Convention Parliaments in Legal Safeguarding

  1. By removing agreed provisions from the Original Contract between governing power and the people without the consent of both parties, they have in effect rendered that Original Contract null and void and so restored the People to their natural state with all Natural Rights restored. The same reasons that obliged compliance with governing power, now remove that contractual obligation.

    I was wondering what for specific reason and why at that specific time did they choose subvert our Constitution.

    In the same year this was enacted enabling nearly 1,000,000 more people to vote in elections, doubling the electorate.
    An Act further to amend the Laws relating to the Representation of the People in England and Wales. [ 15th August 1867.]

    I’m not saying that it is definitely related, but could it be, somehow?

    1. By the 1850s Members of Parliament accepted that further reform was inevitable. Further Reform Acts were passed in 1867 and 1884. By 1918, five of the Chartists’ six demands had been achieved – only the stipulation that parliamentary elections be held every year was unfulfilled. Marx was closely linked to the Chartists.

      Early laws stemming from the Bill of rights demanded elections every three years or less preferably yearly. The only people opposed were the elites of the time. Duke of Wellington was one.

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