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Public Law exam question - Essay Example

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Its is been examined and argued that existing constitution of UK is loose assemblage of defining conventions and institutions and concluded that it lacks the checks and balances needed to make it a democratic system of governance.
By contrast, in the Westminster tradition, which originated in England, the uncodified constitution contains written sources but also unwritten constitutional conventions, precedents, royal prerogatives and custom collectively constituted the British constitutional law. In the days of the British Empire the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council acted as the constitutional court for many of the British colonies such as Canada and Australia, which had federal constitutions.
I completely agree with the author that Conversely, the British constitution is, in practice, becoming more written and more legally codified, mainly because of the growing quantity and impact of EU laws and regulations, which take legal precedence over all other sources of the constitution; and also because of the large number of constitutional reforms introduced by statute since 1997 - such as devolution, reform of the Lords and the Human Rights Act. This trend will continue.
Again, in practice rather than theory, the British constitution is gradually becoming more rigi...
itten and more legally codified, mainly because of the growing quantity and impact of EU laws and regulations, which take legal precedence over all other sources of the constitution; and also because of the large number of constitutional reforms introduced by statute since 1997 - such as devolution, reform of the Lords and the Human Rights Act. This trend will continue.



Again, in practice rather than theory, the British constitution is gradually becoming more rigid as the principle becomes increasingly accepted and expected that referenda should be held on issues of major constitutional change such as electoral reform, devolution and joining the euro. Although such referenda in the UK are invariably merely 'advisory' to maintain the semblance of parliamentary sovereignty, no government could, in reality, ignore a referendum result. Instead it can, of course, choose not to hold a referendum, as Labour has done since 1997 on the question of electoral reform for Westminster (despite a manifesto promise to the contrary).
The piecemeal introduction of reforms since 1997 has brought a bigger change in the mindset of the people but there is still a lot of work to be done to formally have the codified constitution in place. Charter's document calls for a written constitution, one that would put the institutions of governance into a coherent framework. And this is what the people want. State of the Nation polls has consistently revealed over more than a decade that the overwhelming majority of people in Britain want a codified constitution. It is time to help bring this about.
The unitary nature of the UK is also already challenged, however, by the supranational power of the EU over Parliament; and it is likely to come under more challenge from below as the Scottish, Welsh ...Show more
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Summary

Codified constitution is quite different from the written constitution in a number of ways. Written constitution like in UK would spread across a hundred different documents, decrees, statutes and reference works etc. And the opinion of many commentators is that, without a formal, codified structure, such 'unwritten' constitutions are untrustworthy, because they are confused, unclear and uncertain…
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