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MacCormick v Lord Advocate

[1953] SC 396

Case summary last updated at 06/02/2020 12:54 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case MacCormick v Lord Advocate

There was an act referring to the current queen as queen Elizabeth II. Given that the act of Union 1707 created a single United Kingdom and a monarch of both those lands, it was argued that the act be held invalid since no “queen Elizabeth” had ever previously ruled over the combined united kingdom and she should therefore be referred to as Queen Elizabeth I. The Scottish high courts dismissed the question on the grounds that the petitioners had no right to bring an action in the public interest to the extent of this claim. Similarly it failed because article 1 uniting England and Scotland was not relevant to this claim, it making nomention of what titles the monarch was entitled to employ. However the Lord President left open a number of important questions: He said he could see no reason why we should assume absolute parliamentary sovereignty since this was an English, NOT Scottish concept and therefore when the two countries gained a joint parliament, it was unclear why it should be assumed to take on English characteristics (however he said his court had no authority to take such a decision). 

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