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 1215 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 power within a political system, the limits of government jurisdiction, the rights of citizens and the method of amending the Constitution itself]. For a start, nobody knows what is the UK Constitution. That is not to say [as people often and lazily do] that it is unwritten. Some parts of it are very written indeed. Nobody denies that the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 are parts of the Constitution as well as other Acts. But British Constitution does not exist as a single, codified document. Moreover, some parts of it, such as conventions, do not exist in a written form. The question whether the UK should have a codified Constitution has been asked many times in the past few decades to different governments but no serious attempts to convert the idea of a written Constitution into reality were made. But does the UK really need to “catch up with the modern world” and create a codified Constitution? To give an answer to this question we need to look at several issues. These are: sovereignty of the Constitution; relationships between branches of the government; clarity of the Constitution.
Constitutions in the rest of the developed world are sovereign. This means that ultimate authority lies within them and that they are entrenched - i.e. they have special protection from changes. To bring in a change to the US Constitution the new law must be supported by at least 2/3 of both House of Republicans and the Senate, the President and 3/4 of the state governments. There were about 10,000 attempts to change the US Constitution, but only 27 of them have succeeded. But some of those amendments had several...
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