Dicey first wrote that Constitutional Conventions (CC for short) are "rules meant to ensure the ultimate supremacy of the true political sovereign, or, in other words, of the electoral body" in 1885. Is this statement true in 2020 in UK? Please answer "yes" or "no", before writing details.

No is my answer, because to decide if a CC exists, the Supreme Court of Canada (in Re: Resolution to amend the Constitution [1981] 1 S.C.R. 753) and the UK Supreme Court (in R (Evans) v. Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21) both applied the Jennings Test that requires you to ask three questions. According to p. 51 of Public Law, the authors improve Jenning's original three questions to

  1. "how strong is the precedent"

  2. "to what extent do the actors feel bound by it [the precedent], and"

  3. "how good is the reason for" the rule?

Jennings Test clearly requires more than Dicey's statement that doesn't require anything like these three questions. Therefore Dicey's theory fails in 2020. Correct?

  • 2
    I'm not the downvoter, but this question is probably open to a fair bit of interpretation if we take the "ultimate supremacy of the electoral body" as generic desideratum outside of the context that Dicey was writing in. It's a bit like asking, e.g. if the US constitution is better or worse than some other (in a non-federal system) which is more directly majoritarian. I.e. one can quibble about how indirect is that "ultimate" qualifier is supposed to be. – Fizz May 10 at 13:50
  • A bit of an side, the phrase "in the name of the people" (which that Dicey expression reminds me of) can generate quite a few interesting hits in google, from a Chinese "anti-corruption TV drama" to a paper about flavors of (European) populism to a book about some massacre in Angola. – Fizz May 10 at 15:51
  • And that's just scratching the surface. Eventually one finds papers that discuss the distribution of (voting) power mentioning the same phrase link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-00411-1_14 – Fizz May 10 at 16:07

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