Madzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke: PC 23 Jul 1968

(Southern Rhodesia) The Board considered a submission that legal effect should be given to a convention that the UK Parliament would not legislate without the consent of the government of Southern Rhodesia on matters within the competence of the Legislative Assembly.
Held: It was a very important convention but it had no legal effect in limiting the legal power of Parliament.
Lord Reid set out the accepted principle governing the powers of Parliament: ‘It is often said that it would be unconstitutional for the United Kingdom Parliament to do certain things, meaning that the moral, political and other reasons against doing them are so strong that most people would regard it as highly improper if Parliament did these things. But that does not mean that it is beyond the power of Parliament to do such things. If Parliament chose to do any of them the courts could not hold the Act of Parliament invalid.’ and
‘ it has never been doubted that, when a colony is acquired or annexed, following on conquest or settlement, the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament extends to that colony, and its powers over that colony are the same as its powers in the United Kingdom.’

Lord Reid
[1969] 1 AC 645, [1968] 3 All ER 561, [1968] UKPC 2, [1968] UKPC 18
Bailii, Bailii
Cited by:
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CitedBarclay and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Others SC 22-Oct-2014
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CitedMiller and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Exiting The European Union SC 24-Jan-2017
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.231156