The British courts’ response to excessive executive dominance: limiting Parliament’s sovereign legislative powers

This paper differentiates between natural and excessive executive dominance, the former being an accepted variation of executive dominance and the latter resulting in the judiciary showing distrust and dissent towards the executive’s power. Factors contributing to excessive executive dominance include the abundance of delegated legislation and insufficient parliamentary scrutiny. Political reality no longer supports the orthodox parliamentary sovereignty doctrine within the UK – namely that Parliament has unlimited legislative power. Based on the current excessive level of executive dominance within the UK constitution I will argue that the political facts underpinning the doctrine are changing. I will further show through my fresh analysis of judicial review cases that the UK judiciary has already set foot on the path to a qualified version of parliamentary sovereignty to account for the executive’s excessive dominance.