Law, Society, and Economy: Centenary Essays for the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1895-1995

By Richard Rawlings | Go to book overview

applied by international and regional courts and tribunals regulates acts and transactions which are not in themselves international in character and the United Kingdom and Australia, as good international citizens, respect and apply the decisions of those courts and tribunals. Moreover, there are no signs that the internationalization and globalization of law, to use two forbidding expressions, are coming to an end. The disconformity not only has the capacity to generate conflicting decisions, but also tends to put even the highest national court in a subordinate position exercising what ultimately may prove to be an irrelevant jurisdiction. There is a need to bring domestic law into line with a nation's international obligations.


CONCLUSION

I conclude by saying that the legal doctrine of legislative supremacy is no longer as convincing as it once was. That is because the doctrine fails to account for, and take account of, various developments which are having an impact upon our constitutional and political arrangements. It is therefore the continuing responsibility of the courts to maintain and develop principles of public law which will reinforce and enhance our conception of modern democratic government in which the fundamental rights and the dignity of the individual are respected. In this respect, there is in various jurisdictions an increasing tendency to look at Constitutions from the perspective of the citizen rather than from the perspective of those who exercise power. Hence, constitutional doctrines which operate to restrict the exercise of power, such as the doctrine of the separation of powers, may be seen as Montesquieu saw that doctrine, as a protection to the people, and consequently as a source of rights.

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