Supreme Court: Impact

Supreme Court: Impact

Legislative Impact

  • Creates precedents that must be followed by lower courts, influencing future outcome of similar cases.
  • Has the power to declare legislation incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998, indirectly impacting legislative decisions.
  • While courts cannot overrule the will of Parliament, their critical judgement may result in amendments of legislation.

Influence on Public Policy

  • Significant rulings can indirectly shape public policy and provoke public debate.
  • Cases brought by individuals may lead to changes in government policy.
  • Court’s emphasis on human rights has put pressure on government to uphold them.

Role in Devolution

  • The Supreme Court plays a fundamental role in devolution disputes and maintains the constitutional balance between the UK and devolved governments.
  • Landmark cases like the Miller judgement in relation to Brexit provided a clear assertion of parliamentary sovereignty over executive power, protecting devolved authority.

Impact on Rights and Freedoms

  • Protects individuals’ rights by ensuring that all laws passed by Parliament or actions by the executive are in line with the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • By upholding the rule of law, it safeguards individual liberty and checks potential abuses of power.

Cultural and Societal Impact

  • Encourages transparency and accessibility, broadcasting hearings live and providing summaries of judgments to the public.
  • This transparency promotes public understanding of the complexity and importance of its decisions.
  • It can help raise awareness and promote understanding of individual rights and the rule of law in society.

Remember that the power of the Supreme Court to impact legislation, public policy, and societal attitudes ultimately hinges on its independence and integrity, as well as the depth and breadth of the legal understanding and the personal perspectives of its Justices.