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Chapter 6
The constitution
Constitutions
· A constitution sets out the laws, rules and practices by which
a state is governed, specifying the powers of the governing
institutions and the formal relationships between them, and
the relationship between citizens and the state
· The constitution provides the framework for the political
system, establishing the main institutions of government and
determining where decision-making authority resides
· It also spells out the relationship between the state and its
citizens and sets out, and guarantees, citizens' basic rights…read more

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Chapter 6
The constitution
Codified and uncodified constitutions
· A codifed constitution is one in which the major principles
underpinning the political system are collected in a single
authoritative document
· An uncodified constitution has no single source for these
principles, rather, they are found in a number of places
· Sometimes uncodified constitutions are described as
unwritten, but in practice, they usually contain important
written elements…read more

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Chapter 6
The constitution
Key terms
· Bill of rights: an authoritative statement of the rights of
citizens, often entrenched as part of a codified constitution
· Entrenched: secured; difficult to change
· Fundamental law: law derived from decisions in court
cases and general customs
· Judicial review: the power of senior judges to review the
actions of government and public authorities
· Limited government: a system in which the powers of
government are subject to legal constraints, and checks and
balances within the political system…read more

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Chapter 6
The constitution
Sources of the UK constitution
· Statute law
· Common law
· Convention
· Authoritative works
· EU law
Key term to know: Royal prerogative…read more

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Chapter 6
The constitution
Principles of the UK constitution
· Parliamentary sovereignty
· The rule of law
· The unitary state
· Parliamentary government in a constitutional monarchy…read more

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