inc Explanatory Note 3

(3) People Sovereignty and Constitutional Supremacy  People (or Popular) Sovereigntyis the theory embracing the notion that all political power resides in the people but that the people delegate a defined measure ofthat power to a government to avoid the practical impossibility of making and enforcing laws themselves.  This theory goes hand in hand with that of Constitutional Supremacy whereby the Constitution becomes the supreme law of the land and cannot, at least in its fundamental features, be altered save by wide popular consent.  Constitutional Supremacy embodies the notions of (1) a constitution, codified and accessible, that in principle invalidates any laws that are inconsistent with it, and (2) of entrenchment whereby the latter’s provisions cannot, for example, be repealed by Parliament as at present under the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty.  Neither should the provisions of a constitution be altered by plebiscitary consent through majority vote without controls in the form of constitutional checks and balances.  Such checks and balances, in turn, should be so designed that minority interests are protected and the enduring moral and ethical dimension of the settlement that the constitution sets forth be secure.  For Constitutionalists, this includes “the shared values of the people of the United Kingdom and the principles of democratic self-government, so that the Constitution should serve as a compass to guide people in their moral aspiration and direction of political travel” (see Provision 12 (d) of our Declaration of Purpose).  Finally, any such Constitution would need to recognize an enhanced role for public participation, for, as we have already suggested, under a reformed system, rather than government simply imposing its authority on the people, power will be delegated by the people to government with a remit, however broad or narrow, which reflects their will.  

These, then, are the principles (which, incidentally, have been adopted by almost all other democratic states) underlying the constitutional settlement that our movement believes should now be established in the United Kingdom.