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Page 1

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Constitutions
What is a Constitution?
Basics principles and rules of Government
Covers all the institutions that govern
Government/Executive
Legislature
Judiciary
Bureaucracy

What does it consist of?
Says what kind of country it is e.g. France is a republic
Announces principles of…

Page 2

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Here states or regions have individual political and Governmental powers that cannot be taken away
by National Government

3. Flexible
This is due to the ease and speed at which it can be changed or amended
Any change of Law concerning…

Page 3

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes




Treaties
Parliament may decide to join other bodies above the nation state level. This means Parliament becomes
count by these rules meaning it can be superseded e.g. the EU gives legislation Parliament cannot change

Acts of Parliament
Statute Law lays out…

Page 4

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Only Parliament can make decisions and Laws for the UK. There is no power that can check or cancel
its decisions or give the UK Laws.
If other bodies exist with powers, they have been granted these by Parliament and therefore…

Page 5

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Could only declare Government officials as acting `ultra vires' (outside their power)

HRA increase the powers of the courts
From October 200, the courts could challenge any Law they believe doesn't comply with the HRA
Therefore, the HRA became a bill…

Page 6

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Legal equality
Everyone, including Governments should be equal subject to the same Laws, and should have equal
access to the Law ­ legal aid is there to help lower income families
Problems?
In reality, this ideal is not achieved. In general,…

Page 7

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes




A French nobleman, Montesquieu, visited Britain in the 18th century, attending Parliament as a
spectator. He writes a book called the spirit of the Law ­ "Esprit De Lois", in which he claimed Britain
is so tolerant and Liberal because it…

Page 8

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Politicians act out of the interest of electoral
advantage, certain sections of society or their
own interests in power. Unelected judges can
act more impartially as a whole.
It is also not the product of a particular period of The imperfect…

Page 9

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



The Executive needs a majority in HoC to get
its bills passed and stay in power
E.g. Blair lost a vote over extending detention
without charge to 90 days for terror suspects
HoL can also delay or stop Government actions
e.g.…

Page 10

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Labour's Constitutional reforms since 1997

Constitutional reform has only developed since the 1960's in the face of Governments that were
unable to deal with inflation and high unemployment.
Criticism was not only of the politicians of the time but the Government…

Comments

Old Sir

Report

Despite dating from 2010, (and therefore missing reforms such as the creation of fixed term parliaments), this is a concise and comprehensive overview of the UK constitution, containing several typos, but nevertheless, very useful for students looking for an exemplary set of notes. Many will wish to further develop the points made by gathering knowledge of examples and case studies that will aid discussion and address assessment objective 2.

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