The Supreme Court in the UK often takes a hammering from students in their exams – it can be ignored, Parliament is sovereign and the HRA is not entrenched is the usual cry. The key point of neglect here, is just because they ‘can’ be ignored, doesn’t mean they often are.
This article is a great explanation of a range of factors to demonstrate this. To start with, the aid of the Supreme Court in resolving this matter was requested by Theresa May. Equally, they were asked to decide by looking at the case in comparison with the Human Rights legislation that Parliament has passed. The Supreme court did come to a decision that was at odds with what the government had hoped for, and indeed the government did then introduce amendments to try and circumvent the ruling but these haven’t yet passed. Equally, it does show conflict between these branches with May arguing the ruling was ‘too broad’ – nonetheless, the ruling stands!
Obviously, the initial reaction of students is quite correct – the Supreme Court does have it’s weaknesses. The problem is that such essays often lack balance and this article goes some way towards remedying that.