The British Constitution
A constitution is a set of laws on how a country is governed. The
British Constitution is unwritten, unlike the constitution in America,
and, as such, is referred to as an uncodified constitution. The
British Constitution can be found in a variety of documents.
Supporters of our constitution believe that the current way allows for
flexibility and change to occur without too many problems. Those who
want a written constitution believe that it should be codified so that
the public as a whole has access to it – as opposed to just
constitutional experts who know where to look and how to interpret it.
Amendments to Britain’s unwritten constitution are made the same way –
by a simply majority support in both Houses of Parliament to be
followed by the Royal Assent.
The British Constitution comes from a variety of sources. The main
* Statutes such as the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Act of Settlement
* Laws and Customs of Parliament; political conventions
* Case law; constitutional matters decided in a court of law
* Constitutional experts who have written on the subject such as
Walter Bagehot and A.V Dicey.
There are two basic principles to the British Constitution:
* The Rule of Law
* The Supremacy of Parliament
The main arguments for a written and codified constitution:
Parliament is currently unrestrained:
It can make or unmake any law.
It cannot be checked by any other branch of the system
Its heavy workload can mean poor laws are passed
The Unitary system can mean the creation of laws that are
inappropriate to regions of the UK
~ The independence of the Judiciary would be protected
~ Basic rights of citizens are identified and guaranteed
~ There will be less constitutional crises as there will not be