Registration Number: 13002967
Module: Constitutional and Administrative Law
Period: Jan 2014
What have the events around the Uk’s decision not to participate in international action against Syria demonstrated about the nature of the UK constitution and the respective roles of the executive, parliament and the judiciary?
Examining the UK constitution seems to never stop, the constitution of the UK is always assessed and being analyzed, as well as the English system itself, whether the powers are separated? Is the Parliament supreme? Etc... It is asked in this essay to expound what is reflected about the essence of the constitution and the system of the UK for not participating in international action against Syria. In process of doing so, several sources of books, articles, and websites will be used in order to result with a clear conclusion about the nature of such decision. A simple conclusion would state; In the UK sovereign powers are granted to the parliament therefore nothing can be done or made without parliamentary approval. But is this the case?
Initially, a fair assessment of the constitution’s statue is desired. A constitution is the superior law in any country, it defines the nature of the state, the governmental purposes, the rights of citizens, etc... Usually it is written making it very easy to reach and entrench but in the UK the constitution is not, nor codified, in a different way it is a group of constitutional customs in Britain which the government, parliament, and the judiciary follow. Being in such manners the procedure of entrenching is considered impossible, which clarifies the reason behind the unavailability of suggestions of entrenching it, worth noting that the UK’s constitution is perceived as a flawless entity regardless of being neither written nor possible to entrench “If it is not broken, don’t fix”. The UK constitution is also supreme where the legislative powers are the highest in the state. As well it is a unitary one with powers distributed to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England which allows us to add that it might be also a semi-federal. Lastly it is monarchical1. There are several of sources which forms the constitution in the UK some being legal and others not, legal sources would be parliamentary statutes and acts, case law and precedents, not legal sources are said to be conventions and treaties which are not
Barnett, H. Constitutional & Administrative Law (1 published 1995, 10 edition, 2013) 8
enforceable but sometimes binding. All the these features and formations of the UK’s constitutions refines it into a unique one, looking back at history, the constitution of the UK is aged way back in time and it is still standing, regulating a fine country without main obstacles that might stop the efficient system of the UK, but nothing can escape criticism. Relating to our case here, one of the main doctrines of the British constitution is the supremacy of the parliament, and the doctrine of separation of powers which the main playing court of the situation Britain went through when the executive asked the parliament for imposing their actions, and by so the parliament denied.
Three main institutes form the functioning body of each state in the world, which are to be the executives being the government, the parliament, and the judicial system. The powers of the three are supposed to be separated with collaborative work in-between in order to have an efficient state. The parliament is the institute which creates laws and statutes, amend them, and even vanishing them, as well as to reflect the demanding of the citizens of the state. The judicial system consisting of the courts and judges is to make sure everything is legal and most importantly constitutional, as well to make sure of maintain the social cohesion in each state by enforcing the law upon everyone without exceptions that includes the whole body of the parliament...
References: 1-Hilaire Barnett, Constitutional & Administrative Law (1st published 1995, 10th edition, 2013)
2-Neil Parpworth, Constitutional & Administrative Law (7th edition, 2012) 72
3-UK parliament, “Chapter 3: Parliament 's role” (2013)
accessed Jan, 17 2014
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