An analysis of the topic of britains written constitution

The entry of the UK into the European Union in was a major constitutional development, bringing Britain under the supra-national jurisdiction of the EU in a limited number of areas, which have grown in the following years.

The Petition of Right oflike the Bill of Rights ofwas a cherished text. In practice, most constitutional litigation occurs through administrative law disputes, concerning the operation of public bodies, and human rights.

Uk constitution essay

Finally, because the British Constitution cannot be found in any single document, politicians and lawyers have relied on constitutional authorities to locate and understand the constitution. But shouldn't the inhabitants of these islands take some interest in how their state is organised, and be actively encouraged and enabled to do so? This and not the unwrittenness of the constitution is what have fed people up. There were other, lesser reforms the constitutional status of which might be disputed , like the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act , which regulated political donations and the conduct of referendums. Former Justice secretary Jack Straw was reported to be working on a British bill of rights and responsibilities and there were suggestions this could lead to a written constitution. Courts interpret statutes, progress the common law and principles of equity , and can control the discretion of the executive. Misplaced priorities?

For much of the 19th century, in the words of one scholar, "writing about the constitution was a national disease". As in the US, this can restrict the capacity to react creatively to challenges in the present.

But if you were asked to depict the current structure of the British constitution, would you be able to do so? Political and Constitutional Reform Committee b.

Sources of british constitution

The Ashdown Diaries. At one level, the explosion of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests has been dramatic. With the oldest continuous political system on Earth, [2] the UK constitution is not contained in a single code but principles have emerged over the centuries from statute, case law, political conventions and social consensus. Commenters on a first draft of this post have said that the foregoing analysis understates the instability of the status quo, and the relevance of this, the public or the Tories notwithstanding, for what the Political and Constitutional Committee has undertaken. Parliament is composed of the House of Commons , elected by a democratic vote, and the House of Lords which is mostly appointed on the recommendation of cross-political party groups. The Queen herself is a ceremonial figurehead, who gives royal assent to new laws. The key landmark is the Bill of Rights , which established the supremacy of Parliament over the Crown following the forcible replacement of King James II r. The written documents of our unwritten constitution There is irony in the fact that the United Kingdom today does not have a written constitution, yet historically it has had a rich heritage of pioneering constitutional charters and documentation. The Act is formally limited to the acts of public authorities by section six.

In other countries, many of whom have experienced revolution or regime change, it has been necessary to start from scratch or begin from first principles, constructing new state institutions and defining in detail their relations with each other and their citizens.

This is the ultimate lawmaking power vested in a democratically elected Parliament to create or abolish any law.

Conclusion of british constitution

Labour Party. As with devolution, rote solutions in search of a problem bring unintended, destabilising consequences. This apparently forced at least certain elements of the Labour Party to be more receptive to the constitutional thinking of the Liberal-Democrats Ashdown But shouldn't the inhabitants of these islands take some interest in how their state is organised, and be actively encouraged and enabled to do so? With regard to territories outside their own islands, British actors have proved hyperactive constitution-writers. In the s, a major American intellectual pundit, Hans Morgenthau , thought nothing of arguing that governments must always intervene to prevent "the unhindered growth of private power". In so doing they have opened the final battle over the old order. As one politician admitted chirpily in the s: "We in Britain have no constitution of our own, but we have quite a lot of experience of writing constitutions for other people. Political and Constitutional Reform Committee b. Except for Parliament itself, courts may declare acts of any institution or public figure void, to ensure that discretion is only used reasonably or proportionately. Whereas I think that to have a constitution is to become European. In other countries, many of whom have experienced revolution or regime change, it has been necessary to start from scratch or begin from first principles, constructing new state institutions and defining in detail their relations with each other and their citizens. The British Constitution is derived from a number of sources.

But Blair opted to preserve executive power rather than be checked by a new settlement. Another important convention is that government ministers must have a seat in Parliament and, in the case of the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, specifically in the House of Commons in order to hold office.

But, at their best, they not only help to regulate executive power and afford some security to rights, they also serve an important educative and informative function. It has been suggested that the British Constitution can be summed up in eight words: What the Queen in Parliament enacts is law.

history of british constitution

Inthe Magna Carta required the King to call "common counsel" or Parliamenthold courts in a fixed place, guarantee fair trials, guarantee free movement of people, free the church from the state, and enshrined the rights of "common" people to use the land.

Second, it suggests that it is easier to make changes to the UK Constitution than in countries with written constitutions, because the latter have documents with a 'higher law' status against which ordinary statute law and government action can be tested, and are only amendable via elaborate procedures.

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Britain's unwritten constitution