Judicial remedies for individuals before the highest jurisdictions, a comparative law perspective - The United Kingdom

09-10-2017

The study presented below forms part of a larger project whose aim is to provide a comparative analysis of the rights of individuals in law proceedings before the highest courts of different States and before certain international courts. The objective is to describe the various remedies developed under domestic law that are available through the UK courts including the Supreme Court which, though not a constitutional court in the classic Kelsenian model, does sits at the apex of the appellate court structure in the UK. The study commences with an historical introduction which stresses the absence in domestic law of a clearly delineated sense of what counts as ‘constitutional’ .In traditional accounts of the UK Constitution there is no hierarchy of higher order ‘constitutional’ and ‘ordinary’ Acts of Parliament. Neither has a separate court structure developed to handle exclusively constitutional claims, although specialised ad hoc tribunals do exist in public law contexts. The underpinning principles remain (i) the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and (ii) the rule of law. After this introduction, a review is provided of the main remedies and procedures used for the redress of grievances against public bodies. In a subsequent section of materials, a table of the main sources of individual rights against the state is provided. The domestic status of constitutional conventions and international law are dealt with in this part. Then, an account of the substantive norms informing the standards of effective protection for the individual is given, including some critical commentary on the operation of key provisions. The concluding section compares the benefits and drawbacks of specialised tribunal adjudication, the ‘politicised’ nature of certain judicial review proceedings against a background of increasing privately-owned provision of services to the public and the continuing relevance of private law tort claims where compensation for mistreatment at the hands of the state is sought.

The study presented below forms part of a larger project whose aim is to provide a comparative analysis of the rights of individuals in law proceedings before the highest courts of different States and before certain international courts. The objective is to describe the various remedies developed under domestic law that are available through the UK courts including the Supreme Court which, though not a constitutional court in the classic Kelsenian model, does sits at the apex of the appellate court structure in the UK. The study commences with an historical introduction which stresses the absence in domestic law of a clearly delineated sense of what counts as ‘constitutional’ .In traditional accounts of the UK Constitution there is no hierarchy of higher order ‘constitutional’ and ‘ordinary’ Acts of Parliament. Neither has a separate court structure developed to handle exclusively constitutional claims, although specialised ad hoc tribunals do exist in public law contexts. The underpinning principles remain (i) the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and (ii) the rule of law. After this introduction, a review is provided of the main remedies and procedures used for the redress of grievances against public bodies. In a subsequent section of materials, a table of the main sources of individual rights against the state is provided. The domestic status of constitutional conventions and international law are dealt with in this part. Then, an account of the substantive norms informing the standards of effective protection for the individual is given, including some critical commentary on the operation of key provisions. The concluding section compares the benefits and drawbacks of specialised tribunal adjudication, the ‘politicised’ nature of certain judicial review proceedings against a background of increasing privately-owned provision of services to the public and the continuing relevance of private law tort claims where compensation for mistreatment at the hands of the state is sought.

External author

null, EPRS-ComparativeLaw