Politics: The Constitution - Examples/Cases to use in essays

Just a collection of examples I've put together to do in essays because having examples to support your point is something the examiners are really keen on according to my politics teacher. Hope this helps :)

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The Constitution ­ Examples to use in essays
Statute laws of constitutional significance
Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 which limited the power of the House of Lords
European Community Act 1972, which authorised UK's European Community
Scotland Act 1998 ­ established the Scottish Parliament
Government of Wales Act 1998 ­ established Welsh assembly
Human Rights Act 1998 ­ wrote the ECHR into statute law
House of Lords Act 1999 ­ stopped all but 92 hereditary peers from sitting in the
House of Lords
Freedom of Information Act 2000 ­ gave citizens a legal right to ask for access to
government information
Constitutional Reform Act 2005 ­ creation of the Supreme Court instead of the use
of Law Lords
Major constitutional conventions
The use of Crown Powers, the fact that Royal Prerogative powers are mainly used
by the Prime Minister and cabinet rather than the monarch, including patronage,
declaring war, ratifying international treaties etc
The appointment of the Prime Minister ­ the monarch appoints as the prime
minister the leader of the majority party in parliament.
Individual Ministerial Responsibility ­ defines relationship with ministers and their
departments, and the grounds on which they should resign.
Collective Ministerial Responsibility ­ defines relationship between Ministers and
the cabinet, and between government and parliament, including the idea that
government should resign if it loses the 'confidence' of parliament.
Key works of constitutional authority
Walter Bagehot's 'The English Constitution' ­ provided the classic definition of the
role of the prime minister as 'Primus inter pares' ­ 'first amongst equals'.
A.V. Dicey's 'Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution'. Defined
Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Rule of Law as the twin pillars f the
Thomas Erskine May's 'Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Use of
EU laws and Treaties
Treaty of Rome 1957 ­ marked the foundation of European Community and
members who joined would become subject to it.
Single European Act 1986 ­ established a single market within the EC.
Treaty on European Union (aka Maastricht treaty) 1993 ­ introduced political union
in form of EU, but the UK opted out of having the Euro as its currency.
Treaty of Lisbon 2009 ­ originally planned to create a EU constitution but ended up
nevertheless creating decision making arrangements within the EU.
Possible consequences of having codified constitution ­ examples from USA

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­ in light of Conneticut school shootings and other instances of gun crime,
Obama hopes to tighten gun laws but this conflicts with the enshrined
constitutional right to bear arms. In this case, the constitution acts as a block.
The most recent constitutional amendment in the USA, regarding salaries of
congressmen, was put into place in 1992 but was proposed all the way back in
1789, which shows just how potentially difficult it can be to change a codified
constitution.…read more


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