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CONSTITUTIONAL & ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, 2012-13

LECTURE, Week commencing 1/10

CONSTITUTIONS; COOK’S TOUR OF THE UK & ITS CONSTITUTION

CONSTITUTIONS

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 ...”

- Values
o Liberty ...

- Bodies of government
o The organs of state
▪ Executive
▪ Legislature
▪ Judiciary

- Their functions & powers, inter-realtionship & relationship with ‘the people’

- The structure of governance, for instance
o Federal

- 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)

- Contrast
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...
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