Parliament should defend the rights of the people

Parliament should defend the rights of the people

Parliaments were created as the legislative power representing citizens’ interests and to defend the freedom of individuals and the rule of law, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.

New laws, prepared by government, need the approval of parliament through a vote by its members. Parliament also has a duty to supervise the actions of the executive body.

Constitutions, such as the US constitution, had a primary role to protect people and their freedom from government. This should also be respected when passing acts of parliament.

Members of Parliament received immunity against prosecution to guarantee their independence. They are also - in the Anglo Saxon context - referred to as ‘lawmakers’.

It appears that ‘lawmaking’ in Europe and the US is being mass-produced, rolling off an assembly line. The speed of producing of new laws could make any mass-production manufacturing company jealous of its output.

Only quality control and comparing cost-effectiveness is missing. But this is unnecessary, in this context, because compliance to this flood of new legislation can be enforced, irrespective of its quality or usefulness.

There is no competition to play a balancing role, particularly because of the recent wish for global harmonisation. Under different pretexts, those countries which want less over-regulation are punished in international assessments and threatened with sanctions.

So the ‘lawmaking’ spiral is turning faster and, in many cases, parliamentarians are flooded by the welter of proposed legislation and wave the proposed acts through without diligence.

There is also a suspicion that parliaments could become less-representative of the people and follow political party representation instead.

The flood of laws crushes individual freedom, the autonomy of the family, business and the economy, as well as society as the whole.

As an exaggerated money supply devalues the purchase power of money, equally exaggerated issues of laws and regulations will undermine the respect for the rule of law.

Freedom becomes extremely limited and the flood of rules and regulations - often contradictory or barely understandable - make compliance difficult.

The books of law just get fatter. Some laws are introduced for populist reasons but most are widening control. Controlling laws, like tapping telephones under the pretext of containing terrorism - serve as a populist ‘feel-good’ measure for the population, but can be misused very simply for greater control of the population.

Excessive law-making undermines the role of parliament which is there to represent the people and guarantee their freedom and fundamental rights.

Excessive law-making is suicide for democracy and the rule of law.

We can only hope that ‘lawmakers’ will return to their role of representing their constituencies and the interests of citizens as a whole. Parliaments should defend freedom and not curb it.

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