The British Constitution – Essay Questions
A possible codified constitution for the UK
Three sources of the constitution are Acts of Parliament, common law and constitutional conventions. Acts of Parliament are statute laws written by a legislature rather than executive or judicial branch of government. Common law is a patchwork of laws based on customs and traditions often arisen through legal precedent and constitutional conventions are unwritten rules followed through the force of habit and tradition. Unlike the American constitution Britain doesn’t have a single statement of citizen’s rights and freedoms which is why there is a lot of controversy about the constitution as people find it hard to find the different sources of their rights and responsibilities. 1 (B)
There are many arguments for a codified constitution as many people feel that there is already too much power vested in the executive and a new constitutional settlement is needed to disperse power more widely, this is an argument at the centre of discussion around the UK as many people feel that we should take more power away from parliament and back to the people as we are in a democracy. However some people feel that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, that if it is under control and isn’t causing serious problems then it doesn’t need to be replaced, fixed or changed. Although many respond to this saying that the prerogative powers exercised by the government on behalf of the Crown are ill-defined and uncontrolled. That prerogative-based actions can only be limited if the courts judge them to be excessive, decisions such as the declaration of war and the signing of treaties are all taken under discretionary prerogative powers. Nigel Morris states in the source that ‘supporters argue that producing such a document could tackle disillusionment with politics, at the same time as setting new, clear limits on the power of the executive.’ As well as that many people agree and state that a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document