Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Constitutional Supremacy Definition:

A system of government in which the law-making freedom of parliamentary supremacy cedes to the requirements of a Constitution.

Related Terms: Constitutional Law

Parliamentary supremacy is a peremptory rule of constitutional law, that legislative assemblies can make or repeal laws as they see fit, supreme over the dictates of the judicial branch, and subject to the stated jurisdiction of the legislative assembly, if any.

However, some jurisdictions, such as Canada, have placed limits on the Parliamentary supremacy of legislative assemblies within their territory by enacting a paramount law, usually called a Constitution or a charter as in Charter of Rights and Freedoms .

In Reference re Secession of Quebec , Canada's Supreme Court wrote:

"This Court has noted on several occasions that with the adoption of the Charter, the Canadian system of government was transformed to a significant extent from a system of Parliamentary supremacy to one of constitutional supremacy . The Constitution binds all governments, both federal and provincial, including the executive branch. They may not transgress its provisions: indeed, their sole claim to exercise lawful authority rests in the powers allocated to them under the Constitution, and can come from no other source."



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