Public Law

Public Law deals with the legal principles and rules governing the relationship between the state and individuals or other entities. It encompasses the areas of law that regulate the exercise of public power, the functioning of government institutions, and the protection of individual rights and freedoms. Here are the topics you will learn in this module.

The introduction provides an overview of public law as a branch of law that governs the relationship between the state and individuals or entities. It discusses the nature and scope of public law and its significance in regulating the exercise of state power.

Core Institutions
This topic focuses on the key institutions of the state, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. It explores their functions, powers, and interrelationships, highlighting their role in the governance and administration of the state.

Parliamentary Supremacy
Parliamentary supremacy is a fundamental principle in many democratic systems, emphasising the supreme law-making authority of the Parliament. It means that Parliament has the power to enact, amend, or repeal laws without limitation, subject only to constitutional constraints.

Rule of Law
The rule of law is a foundational principle in public law. It signifies that all individuals and institutions, including the government, are subject to the law. It ensures that laws are applied equally, fairly, and consistently, and that they provide predictability and legal certainty.

Separation of Powers
The doctrine of separation of powers advocates for the division of governmental powers among distinct branches to prevent the concentration of power. It typically involves the separation of executive, legislative, and judicial functions, allowing each branch to check and balance the others.

Ministerial Accountability
Ministerial accountability refers to the responsibility of government ministers for their actions and decisions. Ministers are accountable to the Parliament and the public for the exercise of their powers, the management of their departments, and the policies they implement.

Prerogative Powers
Prerogative powers are residual powers held by the Crown or the executive branch of government. These powers are exercised without specific statutory authority and cover areas such as foreign affairs, defence, granting honors, and the appointment of certain officials.

Primary Legislation
Primary legislation refers to laws enacted by Parliament, also known as acts or statutes. It involves the process of bill drafting, introduction, scrutiny, amendment, and enactment, resulting in laws that have general application and binding effect.

Secondary Legislation
Secondary legislation, also known as delegated legislation, is made by government ministers or other authorised bodies under powers granted by primary legislation. It allows for the detailed implementation and administration of laws and regulations within the framework set by Parliament.

EU Legal System
This topic focuses on the legal framework of the European Union (EU), including its institutions, treaties, and the principles of EU law. It explores the relationship between EU law and national law, the supremacy of EU law, and the impact of EU legal principles on member states.

Brexit and EU Law
Brexit refers to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. This topic examines the legal implications of Brexit, including the process of withdrawal, the impact on UK law, the future relationship between the UK and the EU, and the adaptation of EU law in domestic legislation.

Devolution involves the transfer of powers and responsibilities from a central government to subordinate regional bodies, such as the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly. It examines the distribution of powers and the legal framework governing devolved administrations.

Judicial Independence
Judicial independence is a crucial aspect of the rule of law. It ensures that judges are free from undue influence or interference when adjudicating cases. This topic explores the principles and mechanisms that safeguard judicial independence, allowing judges to make impartial and fair decisions.

Judicial Review
Judicial review is the process through which the courts review the lawfulness of decisions and actions of public bodies. It allows individuals and organisations to challenge the legality, fairness, and rationality of government actions, ensuring compliance with the law and protecting individual rights. This topic delves into the principles and procedures of judicial review, including the grounds for review, such as illegality, procedural impropriety, and irrationality.

Human Rights
Human rights are fundamental rights and freedoms that are inherent to all individuals, protecting their dignity, equality, and autonomy. This topic explores the legal framework for human rights protection, including domestic legislation and international human rights instruments. It covers topics such as the right to life, freedom of expression, equality before the law, and protection against discrimination.

Public Law plays a vital role in defining and regulating the relationship between the state and its citizens. Understanding these topics provides insight into the legal principles and structures that govern the exercise of state power, protect individual rights, and ensure the rule of law in a democratic society.
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