Should we have a codified constitution?

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  • Should we have a Codified Constitution?
    • Rigidity
      • Codified tends to be more rigid because higher law is difficult to change than statue law.
        • Could therefore become easily outdated + fail to respond to an ever changing political environment.
    • Clear Rules
    • Judicial Tyranny
      • Judges not best to police the constitution as they are unelected and socially unrepresentative.
        • Would therefore be interpreted in a way that is not subject to public accountability.
          • May also reflect the preferences and values of senior judges.
    • Limited Government
      • Cut government down to size. Would provide a solution to the problem of elective dictatorship by ending parliamentary soveriengty
        • Higher law would also safeguard the constitution from interference by the govt of the day..
    • Neutral Interpretation
  • Collected together in a single document, more clearly definied.
    • Creates less confusion about the meaning of constitutional rules and greater certainty that they can be enforced.
    • Clear Rules
  • Judges not best to police the constitution as they are unelected and socially unrepresentative.
    • Would therefore be interpreted in a way that is not subject to public accountability.
      • May also reflect the preferences and values of senior judges.
  • Cut government down to size. Would provide a solution to the problem of elective dictatorship by ending parliamentary soveriengty
    • Higher law would also safeguard the constitution from interference by the govt of the day..
  • Would be 'policed' by senior judges. Would ensure provisions of the consititution are properly upheld by other public bodies.
    • As judges are 'above politics' they would act as neutral and impartial constitutional arbiters.
    • Neutral Interpretation
  • Legalistic
    • Codified are legalistic documents, created by people at one point in time. They are often dry and only properly understood by lawyers and judges.
      • Unwritten has been endorsed by history and so have an organic nature.
    • Should we have a Codified Constitution?
      • Rigidity
        • Codified tends to be more rigid because higher law is difficult to change than statue law.
          • Could therefore become easily outdated + fail to respond to an ever changing political environment.
      • Judicial Tyranny
        • Limited Government
      • Codified are legalistic documents, created by people at one point in time. They are often dry and only properly understood by lawyers and judges.
        • Unwritten has been endorsed by history and so have an organic nature.
      • Political Bias
        • Constitutional documents, are inevitably biased as they enforce one set of values or principles in preference to others.
          • Codified const. can never be 'above' politics. They may therefore precipitate more conflict than they resolve
      • Protecting Rights
        • Individual liberty much more secure, as it would define the relationship between the state and the citizens, possibly though  bill of rights.
          • Rights would therefore be more clearly defined and easier to enforce.
      • Written constitution has educational value, as it highlights the central values and overall goals of political system.
        • Would strengthen citizenship by creating a clearer sense of political identity, which may be particularly important in an increasingly multi-cultural society.
        • Education + Citizenship
        • May not be most effective way of limited government power,
          • Improving democracy and strenghtening checks and balances- better ways of preventing over-might government
          • Unnecessary

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