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Archive for December, 2012

Highest Court in the Country Takes More Constitutional Role

December 23, 2012 by admin No Comments »

Supreme Court justice Lady Hale made a bold statement in the Guardian recently. She predicted that views on constitutional matters are evolving. She said that many new cases that come before the court have taken a more constitutional focus. Lady Hale and the other justices are trying to adapt to a new system that will allow them to preside over these cases effectively.

A recent decision supports the statements Hale made. Counsel General for Wales, Theodore Huckle has questioned the role the Supreme Court plays in deciding constitutional issues. Huckle has challenged a recent decision over Government byelaws with the Supreme Court in recent years. He went head to head with Dominic Grieve, the attorney general of the Supreme Court. Huckle’s decision was upheld 5-0 by the Supreme Court.

The United Kingdom’s highest court has never acted as a constitutional court. Most legal experts never felt there was any reason to make the court take on a constitutional role, because the United Kingdom doesn’t have a written constitution. However, a new landmark case shows that the Supreme Court is taking on a new role that resembles the Supreme Court in the United States and other western nations with constitutions.

The implication of this new ruling is that the court may make new laws and strike down existing ones. Huckle said that the court is considered a constitutional court because of its ability to change statutes.

This new case marks a sudden and extreme shift in the way the Supreme Court will be viewed. The decision was not initiated at a lower court. The decision started at the Supreme Court itself. The binding precedent has changed the way lawmakers and legal observers view the nation’s highest court.

The courts and legal scholars are currently debating the outcome of the new decision. They are discussing the need to setup new institutions that will hear constitutional cases in different jurisdictions.

 

PM Backs Gay Marriage in Church

December 7, 2012 by admin No Comments »

Despite continued opposition from many Tory MP’s, Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in church should be put in place. MP’s are understood to be given a free vote on the subject, with the results to be revealed next week. Many MP’s are against the move, but Mr Cameron has said he does not want gay people to be ‘excluded from a great institution’. He also said that nobody would be forced to carry out such ceremonies.

Cameron a ‘Massive Supporter’

In a speech Mr Cameron clearly outlined his support for church-based gay marriages, but it is yet to be seen how the upcoming vote will like. He said:

“I’m a massive supporter of marriage and I don’t want gay people to be excluded from a great institution. But let me be absolutely 100% clear: if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn’t want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it. That is absolutely clear in the legislation. Also let me make clear, this is a free vote for Members of Parliament, but personally I will be supporting it.”

Controversy Continues

A previous consultation with MP’s decreed that to allow same-sex marriages in church would go against the tenets of the Christian religion. Many MP’s still remain convinced this is so. It would appear that there is little opposition to the already-permitted civil partnerships, but that actual marriage, using the traditional ceremony, in churches is not seen as permissible by many. Some argue that such legislation would force churches to carry out same-sex marriages against their will, and it remains to be seen just how Mr Cameron intends to overcome this particularly thorny issue.