First 237 words of the document:
Flexible or rigid constitution?
Since the UK's constitution is uncodified and is derived from sources of varying status
(some being more important or influential) , it can, at least in theory, be easily changed.
For example, even those constitutional rules laid down in statute law can be altered by
the same processes which apply to any other price of legislation.
To some people, this flexibility is a major disadvantage. It means, for example, that
hard-won civil rights could be abolished overnight by a political party which
temporarily wins power. Written, or codified, constitutions, by way of contrast, often
contain sections which outline the basic rights of citizens and these usually have a
special status preventing easy or quick alterations to them.
Others regard the UK constitutions capacity to change to be an advantage. The
constitution can adapt to political development and changing circumstances and is,
therefore, less likely to contain outdated rules and obligations. Written constitutions
tend to be much less flexible. They contain special rigid, often lengthy procedures
which must be followed before any constitutional changes can be introduced.
As a result, such changes are usually rare. The USA's constitution, for example, has
been altered only 26 times and the first ten amendments were made together in 1791,
just four years after the constitution had been drawn up.