LECTURE, Week commencing 1/10
CONSTITUTIONS; COOK’S TOUR OF THE UK & ITS CONSTITUTION
Learning objectives: understanding of
Nature and purpose of constitutions
Different types of constitutions
‘Written’ and ‘unwritten’ constitutions
Some key questions and definitions
What is Constitutional & Administrative Law?
What is Public Law?
What is a constitution?
What does a constitution do?
- ‘The Rights of Man’, Tom Paine
o “Government without a constitution is power without a right”
What is usually set out in a constitution?
- It depends & varies
- An opening declaration
o “We the people ...”
o Liberty ...
- Bodies of government
o The organs of state
- Their functions & powers, inter-realtionship & relationship with ‘the people’
- The structure of governance, for instance
- Freedoms of ‘the people’, for instance
o Free expression
- Protections for minorities
- The vote, electoral rules & procedures
- Amending procedure
What isn’t set out in a constitution but is part of a constitution?
What is ‘constitutional’ law? How does it differ from ‘ordinary’ law?
Types of constitution
- Unitary or federal
- Flexible or rigid
- Written or unwritten
‘Written’ and ‘Unwritten’ Constitutions
What is a ‘written constitution’ and what is an ‘unwritten constitution’?
- Cromwell’s ‘Instrument of Government’ (1653-1660)
o English Revolution l1688
o Union with Scotland Act 1688, Union with England Act 1688 o Parliament Act 1911
What are the differences between them and the pros and cons of each distinguishing feature?
Let us examine these with reference to...