Law and Constitution

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Politics: “The advantages of a codified constitution now outweigh the disadvantages” Discuss (40) The fact that the issue of the UK’s need for a codified constitution has managed to remain relevant despite centuries of prolonged deliberation, is not only testament to its importance as an issue but equally so to it’s significance and how it could potentially affect the UK as a whole. A codified constitution is a constitution made up of a set of laws that an individual or set of people have made and agreed upon for governmental use and is most importantly documented in a single place. In theory, the documentation of a codified constitution appears to make minimal difference to the executive and judiciary system, however, in common practice the advantages of a codified constitution in present day UK in regards to the executive, judiciary and society as a whole do not outweigh the disadvantages. This is due the fact that many of the issues which point toward the advantages of a codified constitution, such as modernization, rights and adaptability also reveal distinct social and political disadvantages to the incorporation of a codified constitution; ultimately the use of other tenuous links fail to alter the fact that the advantages of a codified constitution do not outweigh the disadvantages at the present moment in time.

One of the primary hindrances in regards to whether the advantages of a codified constitution now outweigh the disadvantages is its sense of a lack of social mobility and a failure to adapt, which in many ways branches into the topic of modernisation, whilst also begging the question as to whether or not modernisation is worth taking when bearing in mind the potential extent of governmental paralysis in which it creates in relation to the legislation process. This in affect further prohibits the extent in which the Legislature can maneuver, which as previously stated undermines it’s power of legitimacy. In regards to adaptability however, the fundamental premise in which the implementation of a codified constitution is found wanting is it’s rigid nature in terms if natural progression. This is in sharp contrast to the current uncodified format of Britain’s current constitution which has used its flexible nature to allow natural adaptation to the tune of social change. So, for example, the non-political role of the monarchy has gradually evolved and adapted for over a century showing that modernisation must not strictly take place in the form of a codifying the British constitution. Similarly, Parliament has rarely experienced any dramatic changes to its powers and procedures due to no dramatic need to do so, however, it has still adapted itself to the progressive nature of modern government cautiously, rationally and of course progressively, in both past and present, once again highlighting Britain’s need to continue on this trend of gradual adaptation whilst also not compromising on the concept of modernisation. Ultimately in practical terms in regards to the issue of adaptability, the documentation of a codified constitution would stifle a fundamental aspect of the current British constitution weakening the view that the advantages of a codified constitution now outweigh the disadvantages.

The rigid nature of the constitution as well as being clear in the aspect of adaptability is similarly mirrored in it’s black and white viewing towards declaring the rights of those residing within any given area, in this case the UK. In many respects it could be viewed that the black and white nature of the constitution could be beneficial and remove any grey areas that still remain within the British Judiciary system in particularly in relation to rights. The creation of a codified constitution potentially entails the entrenchment of The Human Rights Act (2000) to protect the rights of citizens within the UK. The codification of the constitution could lead to the rights of those within the UK taking some sort of...
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