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#constitution #law #public
In the case of AXA General Insurance Ltd v Lord Advocate, [2011] UKSC 46 the Supreme Court had an opportunity to review the legal relationship between Westminster and the Scottish Parliament when considering whether an Act of the Scottish Parliament was susceptible to judicial review. The resolution of the issue turned upon the constitutional status of the Scottish Parliament and whether it should be regarded as a delegated legislature (akin to a local authority), or as a political equal (albeit without sovereign status) with powers shared with Westminster. In the circumstances, Lords Hope and Reed considered that review of Acts of the Scottish Parliament on the normal grounds of judicial review was not appropriate, as they clearly regarded Acts of the Scottish Parliament as a species of primary, rather than delegated legislation. Nevertheless, both agreed that Acts of the Scottish Parliament of a kind that violated the rule of law would not be upheld by the courts. The justification for this was Lord Hope's previously stated view in the Jackson case that 'the rule of law enforced by the courts is the ultimate controlling factor on which our constitution is based'.
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