chapter  18
10 Pages


18.1 Introduction

In the modern UK constitution, the choices of public authorities are enabled and constrained by Community law in a wide range of policy areas (see above, 2.3 and Chapter 7). The importance of Community law has increased, is increasing and is unlikely to diminish. The UK Parliament (see above, 2.4.2 and Chapter 6), the devolved assemblies (see above, Chapter 2), government ministers and local authorities must work within the boundaries set by Community law. Any public official ought always to ask: ‘Is what I propose to do, and the manner in which I intend to do it, compatible with Community law?’ Judges and members of tribunals must also ask a similar question. Answers to these questions cannot, of course, be found simply by looking at national law, because national law itself may be incompatible with Community law. Where there is conflict, precedence must be given to the rules of Community law (see above, 7.9.1).