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TOPIC 1: THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION

1. Sources of British Const (Statutes/Acts of Parliament, Common/Case
Law, Works of Authority, Treaties (e.g. Maastricht Treaty), Conventions)

2. Key Features (contrast to USA): written/unwritten, codified/uncodified,
unitary/federal, rigid (entrenched)/flexible.

3. Separation of Power/Overlapping powers (of the Executive, Judiciary
and Legislature - how their power is…

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HOWEVER The 'government' or Executive in the USA is the President.
Because they have a written or codified constitution (all are written in
one document), this really limits his actions. For example, after the high
school massacres, the President (Clinton) wanted to limit the
ownership/use of handguns; however the USA…

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D. BACKBENCHERS (ordinary MPs who do not hold ministerial office in
government or in the shadow government) and FRONT BENCHERS
(remember, these include ministers, parliamentary undersecretaries and
whips who aren't in the Cabinet). FRONTBENCHERS are bound by 'collective
responsibility'.
E. CROSS BENCHERS/INDEPENDENTS - peers in the HoL who do no…

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4. Parliament and governmental relationships - how does Parliament hold
the government to account? How can government/executive dominate
Parliament? Consider the control of the Parliamentary timetable, the whips
system and the effect of a parliamentary majority and party discipline.
What is an 'elective dictatorship' (Lord Hailsham about the minority Labour…

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4. The cabinet system - composition (who is in the cabinet, how chosen
etc), roles and functions of the cabinet - look at Burch in older textbook or
my powerpoint for functions. Be aware of structural changes to the
cabinet system (in order to reflect the increased role of government…

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central government to carry out responsibilities e.g. the Learning and Skills
Council fund further education in England who are they accountable to?).
C. Relationship with central government 'partnership model' during the
consensus period (4579) replaced by the 'agency model' from Thatcher
onwards (although Blair did address this to some extent).…

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A. Supranational it's power and authority crosses national borders. Member
states have to give up a part of their sovereignty to it (e.g. EU law overrides UK
law).
B. 'Democratic deficit' again in the grid we defined this. Essentially power
rests with nonelected and unaccountable EU institutions which often meet…

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