Masterton-Doig Words The political climate in the United Kingdom UK in recent years has generated significant challenges to our eight hundred year old constitution.
This is the second part of a three-part series on the codification of the United Kingdom By Isabella Reynoso A constitution is essential for the organization of a state as it contains the fundamental principles and rules upon which a state exists Beatson, As suggested by Blick this is due to the absence of a critical moment in history, such as a revolution or an independence that has made Britain reform the constitution to the extent of codifying it.
Moreover, two of the most important principles of the British constitution are that it is based on parliamentary supremacy and the separation of powers. Meaning that Parliament, as opposed to a codified constitution, is the highest source of law in the UK Dicey,and that the executive, legislative and judiciary powers shall be separate from each other.
Additionally, the existence of only a few other countries in the world that do not have a codified constitution, along with recent constitutional reforms such as the Human Rights Act of and the Constitutional Reform Act ofhave rekindled the debate on whether or not the UK should codify its constitution McHarg, This essay Should britain have a codified constitution essay firstly introduce some of the proposals that have been brought forward for a written constitution.
It will then argue that even though it is suggested that codifying the constitution would result in the balance of the power of the executive, further accountability, and stability, the current constitution already holds these positive factors.
Additionally, Britain should not adopt a written constitution due to its history, the sources and principles of the constitution, and the practical difficulties that would result from its codification. The debate about the codification of the British constitution has gone through a number of phases in the last thirty years Oliver, However, most recently, suggestions for a radical reform of the constitution into a codified one have surfaced Oliver, These have been represented by the drafting of three possible constitutions: Even though these government white papers and consultation documents display different motivations for the codifications of the constitution, there are some reasons identified to be the most important, such as the balance of the power of the executive, stability, and clarity Beatson, Even though the British constitution is based on the separation of powers, in reality, the composition of Parliament shows that the principle is not upheld.
Since the majority of ministers are members of the elected party, the executive effectively becomes part of the legislature, the highest source of law in the UK.
Therefore, it is suggested that the government can easily amend the constitution, and has too much power in its hands.
Consequently, one of the suggested advantages of codifying the British constitution and abolishing Parliament as the highest source of law would be the control of the executive power by balancing it and making it accountable.
Furthermore, it is suggested that by introducing a written constitution the control of the executive on the legislature would not effectively amount to changing the constitution. This would be further controlled by the constitutional courts. Nevertheless, the existence of constitutional conventions, defined as habits or practices that regulate constitutional behaviour and the conduct of public office holders Bradley and Ewing,already balance the power of the executive and hold it accountable in a more efficient way than the courts would Blick, For example, if the voting population were to refuse to tolerate the breach of a constitutional convention, the executive would probably find itself accused of being illegitimate.
As rightly argued by Jennings, if conventions are ignored, it results in severe political repercussions Chand, An example of this would be the rejection of the House of Lords to pass the budget in After a prolonged crisis, the Parliament Act of incorporated the convention into primary legislation Leyland, However, the fact that the executive would probably face political difficulties and that it is likely to find itself accused as illegitimate if it breaches an important convention, unquestionably constitutes a valid argument against the allegation that the current constitution neither balances the power of the executive, nor does it hold the executive to account.
Additionally, it is suggested that by codifying the constitution and having an entrenched document as the highest source of law instead of Parliament, the constitution would be more stable as it will be more difficult to amend Beatson, Nonetheless, if it were to be codified, it would be a definite step towards depriving the constitution of one of its most important characteristics: This allows changes to be made to the constitution according to the current political and social circumstances.
For example, a constitution, which was drafted inwould have included declarations about voting rights and the powers of the House of Lords, which would have become redundant after the Great Reform Act ofParliament Bogdanor, Khaitan and Vogenauer, Therefore, as stated by Professor Ringen in Blick Should the Uk Retain Its Uncodified Constitution Essay; Should the Uk Retain Its Uncodified Constitution Essay.
There are arguments for the UK to both retain an uncodified constitution and to change this to a codified constitution like the USA. The current arrangements have served Britain well for centuries, simply by relying on.
Should the UK adopt a codified constitution? Looking at both argument there are strong cases for both views on whether the UK should have a codified constitution or not.
This essay argues that the UK should not adopt a codified constitution. Should Britain have a fully written codified Constitution?Britain is one of the oldest democracies in the world, which has gradually evolved from Magna Carta in to the modern time.
But one thing significantly differs the UK from all other democratic countries- that is its Constitution [which is a set of principles that establishes the distribution of . Should the United Kingdom adopt a Written Constitution?
This essay on UK constitutional law has been written in May Many things have happened in the meantime, giving birth to a plethora of.
The UK Should Have A Written Constitution. At present in Britain we have no written constitution, but instead a collection of laws and customs which govern our political system. Along with Israel, we are one of only two democracies in the world not to have a written constitution. Butler, Eamonn () “Should Britain have a written constitution?”, on the blog of Adam Smith Institute, 12 December.
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