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Redefining Parliamentary Sovereignty: The Example of the Devolution Referenda

The goal of this paper is to draw attention to a critical issue regarding the decline in the traditional doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom. Devolution has proven to be a serious threat to Westminster’s supremacy in view of the fact that until now it has evolved with a degree of complexity that the original proponents had scarcely imagined. One of the most peculiar examples of this evolution is the extent to which the referendum has been used to put forward major constitutional changes in this new order. In that regard, this paper, which is divided into two parts, retraces the crucial points of Dicey’s reasoning and then attempts to verify what the devolution process has entailed for the referendum within the United Kingdom’s constitutional framework, up to the latest developments.
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