Acts of Union(redirected from Act of Union)
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Acts of Unionthe Acts that gave effect to the treaties that forged the UK, especially the Act of the English parliament, the Union with Scotland Act 1706. The constitutional result is not clear because the two former nations ceased to exist, as did the parliaments, becoming a new body, the Parliament of Great Britain. Some argue that the Act of Union is fundamental law in the UK and that Parliament is not sovereign in relation to this matter, which is at the heart of its very foundation. The difficulty is in finding a tribunal to deal with infringements. About 1494, Poyning's law conceded that laws for Ireland had to be approved by the English Council. The Irish Parliament remained until the Act of Union in 1800. In 1920 Ireland was partitioned (Government of Ireland Act 1920) and the north remained part of the UK, the south becoming the Irish Free State, emphasized when the new Republic of Ireland left the Dominions (Ireland Act 1949).
There is a devolved Scottish Parliament, but the Union holds, as the Westminster Parliament remains the sovereign parliament of the Scottish people.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006