What is the conflict between Legislation and Common Law/Case Law?

I need to identify and describe the main conflict between Legislation (Parliament law) and Common Law/Case Law (judge made law) extending to England and Wales only. Please help. Thank you.

I disagree
The main conflict is that legislation has priority over common law by way of Parliamentary Soverignty.
Legislation can overwrite common law but common law CANNOT overwrite legislation.
Judges do have a role of statutory interpretation; deciding what Parliament meant when they passed statutes but they can only go so far; they may not change or stretch the words of the statute.

Post Author: mark

2 thoughts on “What is the conflict between Legislation and Common Law/Case Law?

    Foghorn

    (January 19, 2010 - 7:12 pm)

    A very fine question. I’m not a qualified solicitor or barrister, but I am half way through a course in Law. (OU)

    Essentially, one has to identify the aspect of law we are dealing with. Are you talking about Civil or Criminal?

    In Criminal Law, there is no difference or conflict, per se. However, we still do have a reasonably independent judiciary in England, and conflicts can arise. Parliament passes legislation, but some of the laws that they pass are absurd (for example, under the Sexual Offences Act of 2003, it is a criminal offence for two 13 year olds to kiss) The Judiciary are able, thank goodness, to turn the law around by saying that, although this is the letter of the Law, was the kiss actually an assault, or simply behaviour that is natural among adolescents. Statute Law says that this is an offence, Case Law says – Oi, what is the background to the offence.

    I do know of people who have been convicted by passing a red traffic light to make way for an ambulance/fire engine – I do hope that someone who has enough money and nous will be done for this, so that he/she can take the case through the appeal process to the House of Lords and get a decent decision.
    References :
    I’m a law student.

    nobody puts baby in the corner

    (January 19, 2010 - 7:21 pm)

    I disagree
    The main conflict is that legislation has priority over common law by way of Parliamentary Soverignty.
    Legislation can overwrite common law but common law CANNOT overwrite legislation.
    Judges do have a role of statutory interpretation; deciding what Parliament meant when they passed statutes but they can only go so far; they may not change or stretch the words of the statute.
    References :
    Also a law student

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