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The nature of British constitution - Essay Example

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Constitutions, McEwen (2004) adds, establish the composition, powers and functions of the institutions of the state, regulate the relations between these institutions, and enshrine the legal rights and duties of the citizenry.
Constitutions of all other states are codified. "Codified constitutions are largely written, centered around a single document incorporating key constitutional provisions that are binding on all political institutions." (McEwen 2004) In contrast, the British constitution is not written or codified in a single document. Where codified constitutions are entrenched and enjoys the protecition of a Supreme Court, and can only be repealed or amended by special provisions, the uncodified constitutions are beyond the ordinary legislative process.
3. Royal Prerogative: This refers to powers originally exercised by the monarch traditionally, among which powers. Most prerogatives are now directly exercised by ministers, such as the power to regulate the civil service, or the power to issue passports.
4. Convention: The conventions are unwritten understandings and customs, non-legal rules of constitutional behaviour of the constitutional actors. Although not supported by law, these are considered to be binding upon these actors but the judge cannot enforced them.
5. Works of Authority: These are works that are sometimes cited interpretations of aspects of the UK constitution, written by 'Constitutional Theorists' and are used sometimes to establish procedure.
6. Treaties and International Conventions: They are not, in theory, direct sources of constitutional law because of the supremacy of the Parliament. A treaty binds the government to the level of the international law but so that it has the force of law, it must be ratified before by the Parliament.
Basic Characteristics of the UK Constitution:
Written: The UK constitution is constantly called 'unwritten', but it is more 'uncodified' and written in the various sources from which it is derived. There is no one place or text where the basic relationships of state and citizen are all set out neatly together.
Flexible: The UK constitution is based on the concept of Parliamentary sovereignty, so the concept of entrenchment cannot exist. The Parliament can repeal any constitutional legislation by another legislative act in response to need. In theory, its flexibility makes its responsive to political and social change, especially through political principles expressed in conventions.
Unit: Legislative power of the Parliament is unitary. While there are occasions when the Parliament delegates a part of its legislative power to the government of the local authorities but according to the doctrines of the sovereignty of the Parliament, this delegation can be repealed and the power delegated will be reverted to the Parliament. Dicey (1885) opined that federal government tended to be weak, conservative and legalistic.
Key Principles of the UK Constitution
Parliamentary Supremacy: This means that Parliament is the supreme law making body, that it alone can make ...Show more
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Every British citizen is tasked with understanding its government, its mechanism and its mechanics. This task could prove daunting for one of the United Kingdom because there is not one document where he can study the matter. This is possible only with an intelligent citizenry…
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