Politics AS 40 Mark Questions

A series of flash cards based on the 40 mark questions of past papers found in Section 2 of Unit 2 Exams.

HideShow resource information

The UK Constitution

"The UK Consitution is no longer fit for purpose." Discuss

(40 Marks)

1 of 13

The UK Constitution


  • Does not conform to the modern democratic world
  • Flexible (Too much opportunity for a drift towards executive power)
  • Parliamentary sovereignty
  • Prerogative powers are undemocratic
  • Loss of public confidence in politics


  • Flexibility (Can adapt to circumstances)
  • Strong, decisive government
  • Effective (empiricism)
  • Unknown consequences of changing the constitution
2 of 13

The Judiciary

Is the judiciary too powerful, or is not powerful enough?

(40 Marks)

3 of 13

The Judiciary


  • The Human Rights Act
  • Judicial Review
  • Able to thwart government
  • Independence


  • Parliamentary sovereignty
  • Cannot make judgements beyond the jurisidiction of the law
  • No power to review legislation critically unless a judicial review is claimed.
4 of 13


To what extent does Parliament control executive power?

(40 Marks)

5 of 13



  • Government usually has an overall majority
  • Party patronage (MPs are loyal and docile, defying party leadership can be seen as a betrayal of the mandate)
  • Whips
  • Lack of research and back-up that the government may have
  • Collective responsibility
  • Individual ministerial responsibility is weak
  • House of Lords lacks democratic legitimacy
  • Lack of checks and balances


  • Select committees can remain independent and can scrutinise effectively
  • Parliament has a veto on legislation and has used it
  • House of Lords is increasingly effective
  • Vote of No Confidence
6 of 13


How effectively can the judiciary protect civil liberties in Britain?

(40 Marks)

7 of 13



  • Enforcing rule of law
  • Hearing cases of discrimination
  • Upholding ECHR
  • Taking cases to ECHR
  • Judicial review cases
  • Expressing views that may influence government and parliament
  • Preserving independence
  • Belmarsh and Afghan Hijack Case

Not effectively:

  • HR Act is not binding on Parliament
  • Judges must be proactive
  • Lack of entrenched constitution
  • Government has influence over appointment of judges
  • DNA Database, ID Cards
8 of 13


"The advantages of a codified constitution now outweigh its disadvantages". Discuss

(40 Marks)

9 of 13



  • A codified, entrenched constitution could check executive power
  • Rights will be protected
  • Educative and citizenship functions
  • Less flexible
  • Modernising


  • The current system works.
  • Constitution is organic and should be allowed to evolve naturally
  • Judiciable and could be interpreted differently by unelected judges
  • Rigidity
  • Difficult to achieve a consensus about what should be in the constitution
10 of 13

PM and the Executive

To what extent does the prime minister dominate the political system in the UK?

(40 marks)

11 of 13

PM and the Executive


  • Cabinet has declined. Less cabinet meetings and shorter durations
  • Dominant PMs such as Blair and Thatcher
  • Growth of the Number 10 'machine'
  • Media spokesperson
  • Weakness of Parliament
  • Dominance of PM in Foreign Affairs


  • PMs are only as powerful as circumstances allow them - eg Major, early Brown
  • Can depend on personality of the PM
  • Can still be overruled by the Cabinet
12 of 13


How effectively can the judiciary control executive and legislative power in the UK?

(40 Marks)

13 of 13



thanks :)


This was great!

Gabby Tracey

cheers :)

Marc Watts

there's no answers for the last question???


thanks x


5 years later and it's still useful! Thank you!


for the constitution one, what do they mean by rigidity?

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all resources »