Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Parliamentary Supremacy Definition:

A peremptory rule of constitutional law which gives the legislative branch of government to set the law, as opposed to the judicial branch (the courts).

Sometimes referred to as parliamentary sovereignty and expressed as a rule of constitutional law that a legislative assembly, in enacting laws, also retains the power to amend or repeal any law, subject only to its stated fields of jurisdiction, if any.

In Collins, Justice Noel wrote:

"Parliament has discretion to overrule Supreme Court judgments. The principle of parliamentary supremacy is a foundation of Canadian constitutional law: the judiciary must abide by the statutes adopted by Parliament."

In Cape Breton, Justice Murphy adopted these words:

"Parliamentary sovereignty, also referred to as parliamentary supremacy, is the rule that Parliament has the power to make or unmake any law whatever."

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