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Government and Politics
Governing the UK…read more

Slide 2

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The Constitution
Judges and Civil Liberties
Prime Minister and Cabinet…read more

Slide 3

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The Constitution
· This is the architecture of the government
· It regulates the government and the relationship between the government and the people
The UK constitution:
·Statute (such as the House Of Lords Act in 1999)
·Common Law ­ no Statute makes law illegal; it is instead the decisions of the judges
that form the bases of law
·Royal Prerogative ­ The Prime Minister now has the powers that were traditionally
reserved for the monarch (such as calling elections)
·European Law ­ The EU laws apply and are higher than UK ones
·Works of Authority ­ these are thesis/doctrines about the constitutions
Pros Cons
·Flexible (government not involved) ·Too easy to change
·Strong Government
·Rights aren't adequately protected
·Constitution cannot be ignored
·Citizens not ignorant ·It's unknowable meaning that people are less
·Judiciary not over politicised likely to claim rights
·Operate effectively ·Imbalanced
·Open/responsive democracy ·Commons can technically force anything through
·Codified constitutions undermine sovereignty ·House of Lords in not democratic
·Who would write it?…read more

Slide 4

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What should be included?
Is it necessary to be codified?
Easier to know and understand
People are happy with it
· A single document
· USA · Many sources (some
· Entrenchment ­ A higher written down and some
law with special conventions)
procedures for · UK
· Easier to reform
· Judiciable ­ the highest
court determines what is
and isn't constitutional Being continuously modified
Still legitimate
Most modern democracies
Strengthen Rights protection Is this the biggest issue?
Counterbalances power of executive…read more

Slide 5

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·Absolute power
·In the UK it lies legally with Westminster but it is argue that it is just on loan from the people
·International Sovereignty (External) is different from National Sovereignty (Internal)
Parliamentary Sovereignty: Lost Sovereignty?
·Power Transfer (Devolution/EU) can be reversed ·EU law over UK law
·Cannot bind successors ·Unwise to go against
·Judiciary power (although increased) cannot effects referendums
Act of Parliament (moral impact not legislative) ·Devolution
·Parliament can ignore the will of people as ·Human Rights Act and External
referendums are not binding and are the choice of Forces (UN and Pressure
government and the constitution is not codified groups)
EU effect: However; in the case of
·European treaties are supreme the EU government could
·European Court of Justice is opt out and defy them.
supreme and must be abided by Therefore they have not
·EU common policies are reduced by lost sovereignty. The
Britain's decision making ability negative image of the EU
·Economic Sovereignty is also primarily media
driven.…read more

Slide 6

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Federal Unitary
· Separate spheres of sovereignty · Draws all power from a central
· USA VS. · UK ­ Westminster
· Different States have different
laws on things (such as Gun · "Parliament has the sole right to
make/unmake any law" Dicey
Bill of Rights:
Pros Cons
·Unifying force ·Is it necessary?
·Rights mean Responsibility ·It's only worth it if it builds on the
·Education HRA if not it could weaken it
·Protect individuals from the powerful
·Show that the state is serious about rights
·An addition to the Human Rights Act
·Restores Check and Balances…read more

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