Aspects of the UK Constitution

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  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 19-05-13 13:28

Uncodified

  • An Uncodified constitution is where many of the constitutional rules are written down, but have not been gathered together.
  • This means it cannot be seen easily
  • It can be said to be 'out-of-date' as we rest on old laws, but it is easily changable.
  • Difficult for Courts to work out what is consitutional and what isn't.
  • Durable, Britain's constitution has been around for as early as 1066.
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Unitary

  • Unitary means that all power is concentrated in the hands of central government.
  • Parliment at Westminster makes Laws.
  • Some power has been devolved to parts of the UK like Scotland and Wales, but are subject to the legislative supremancy of the parliment.
  • Linked with Parlimentary Sovereignity.
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Flexible

  • A flexible constitution is one in which no laws are regarded as fundamental and there is no formal process of constitutional ammendment.
  • The constitution can be ammended easily.
  • Ammendments can be made with an Act of Parliment.
  • Aided by being uncodified.
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Sovereignty of Parliment

  • Sovereignty of Parliment is where the Parliment theoretically possess and excercise unlimitied authority.
  • Only Parliment can make, ammend and unmake law, no other institution can override its decisions.
  • No Parliment can bind it's successor
  • Threatened by membership of the EU and their directives.
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The Rule of Law

  • The rule of law is the principle that nobody is above the law.
  • Dicerned into three concepts.
  • Equality before law - People of any class, race, gender or age are universally subject to one law.
  • No person should be punished except for when in breach of the law.
  • Laws of the constitution derive from judicial decisions of Common Law.
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Fusion of powers

  • Fusion of powers is the idea of fusion of the three branches of state: executive, legislature and judiciary.
  • Ministers who sit in the executive sit in the legislature.
  • Overlap enables power to be co-ordinated.
  • Recently, the separation of powers has been seen as a means to objectively function independantly with less bias.
  • As a result, in the 2009 Constitutional Reform Act we seperated the Judiciary (Law Lords) from the legislature (House of Lords) and made more effort for it to become independant. This is known as independance of the judiciary.
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