Public Law - Constitutional Conventions I

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 12-11-20 22:57
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  • Constitutional Conventions I
    • Important 'non-legal' source of constitution
    • Definition of Constitutional Conventions from Marshall and Moodie
      • 'rules of constitutional' behaviour'
        • ie how those who perform a role within constitution should behave
      • 'considered to be bind'
        • ie there should be no deviation from these rules
      • 'not enforced'
        • ie. rules have no legal basis and so will not be enforced by any judicial body
    • Flexible
      • As they are 'non-legal', conventions don't require any particular step or procedure for their creation.
    • Legally: Royal Assent required for Bill to become valid Act of Parliament. Monarch may refuse to give Royal Assent.
      • Convention: Monarch, on advice of PM, always assents to Bill which has passed through Parliament
    • Legally: Government is 'Queen's Government' and she can therefore appoint and dismiss its members as she chooses
      • Convention
        • Monarch must appoint as  PM person who can command support of majority of House of Commons (nowadays usually an elected party leader successful in general election).
        • Monarch must appoint and  dismiss Ministers on advice of PM, all of whom must be MPs and most of whom will be House of Commons
    • Legally: Monarch constitutes part of executive branch of government, but cannot make laws or raise taxes except through Act of Parliament
      • Convention:
        • Monarch acts only on advice of PM and other Ministers, and in practice most decisions taken b PM and other ministers themselves.
        • Executive powers are exercised through Ministers, who are collectively and individually responsible to Parliament.
        • Legislation involving taxation and public expenditure is controlled by House of Commons


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