European Communities Act 1972 (UK)

European Communities Act 1972 (UK)

Infobox UK Legislation
short_title=European Communities Act 1972
parliament=Parliament of the United Kingdom
long_title=An Act to make provision in connection with the enlargement of the European Communities to include the United Kingdom, together with (for certain purposes) the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
statute_book_chapter=1972 c. 68
introduced_by=
territorial_extent=England and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland
royal_assent=17 October 1972
commencement=
repeal_date=
amendments=
related_legislation=
repealing_legislation=
status=Amended
original_text=http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1972/ukpga_19720068_en_1
activeTextDocId=1374459
legislation_history=|

The European Communities Act (1972 c. 68) is the Act of the United Kingdom Parliament providing for the incorporation of European Community law into the domestic legal order of the United Kingdom. It is not to be confused with the European Communities Act 1972 (Ireland) which did the same thing for the Republic of Ireland.

Its main significance is that (apart from being the instrument whereby the UK was able to accede to the European Union (or 'European Communities' as then termed) it enables under section 2(2) for Government ministers to lay regulations before Parliament to implement required changes to UK law (for example, Decisions of the European Court of Justice and EU Directives). It also provides in S 2(4) that all UK legislation, including primary legislation (Acts of Parliament) shall have effect "subject to" directly applicable EC Law. In the famous Factortame case, the House of Lords (Lord Bridge) has interpreted this provision as inserting an implied clause into all UK statutes that they shall not apply where they conflict with European law, in what was seen as a major departure from the English constitutional doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty (see ).

The repeal of this Act would leave European Union law unenforceable in the UK, but the UK would still be bound by treaty obligations to the European Union.or|date=July 2008

External links

*UK-SLD|1374459
* [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1972/19720068.htm#aofs Full text of the Act]


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