The main issue in the scenario is the conflict between the two Acts of Parliament: Education Act 2013 (EA 2013) and the Education Reform Act 2016 (ERA 2013). ERA 2016 is passed reducing the school leaving age to 16 from 18 under EA 2013 and without consulting the Ofsted as required by EA 2013. Madonna aged sixteen wishes to leave school now relying on the ERA 2016. The question therefore is whether EA 2013 or ERA 2016 would apply and why.
The question raises number of issues regarding Parliamentary sovereignty and related issues of entrenchment and express and implied repeal. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK, originates historically from the troublesome relationship between the English Parliament and the Crown. The Bill of Rights 1689 created the foundation for the Parliamentary sovereignty where Crown agreed with the Parliament to limit its power. One of the key definitions of Parliamentary sovereignty was given by AV Dicey who defines it as “the Parliament has the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament. Dicey’s theory has both positive element and negative element. Positive in that it states that Parliament can pass any laws on any subject as it sees fit and it can make and unmake laws and it is not bound by the previous Parliament nor can it bind the future Parliament. The negative element of Dicey’s theory is that no one can question the validity of Act of Parliament even the courts.
The Parliament is supreme and it can pass any laws it likes. However, in the given scenario Parliament has passed ERA 2016 without consulting the Ofsted as required by the EA 2013. The question then arises whether Parliament had acted properly in passing the laws. Therefore as long as Act has been passed by following the correct Parliamentary procedure which involves the House of Common, House of Lords and the Crown, the courts will not have the power to disregard it, question it or inquire into the way it was passed in the Parliament . According to Ivor Jennings, it’s the obligation of the courts to recognise rules passed by the Parliament by of legislation. Therefore the duty of court is to interpret legislation and declare the law and not to review or examine the Act. In Stockdale and Hansard , Lord Denman CJ said Parliament includes all three Houses and the House of Commons cannot act alone. In Edinburgh & Dalkieth Railway v Wauchope correct procedure was not followed as required by the Standing Order. Lord Campbell stated that the task of the court is to see if Act has passed through both Houses and attained Royal assent and if so they cannot inquire into the “manner in which it was introduced into the Parliament”. In Lee v Bude & Torrington Junction Railway the court stated that if the court finds that an Act has been passed improperly,...