• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess New Labour's constitutional reforms since 1997. Have they been successful?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess New Labour's constitutional reforms since 1997. Have they been successful? Since 1997, New Labour have attempted to change the United Kingdoms partially codified constitution. Some of their reforms have been successful, whereas others, such as the Lords, have not yet been finalised. The Conservatives and the liberal Democrats have criticised these reforms, for a variety of reasons. The centrepiece of Labours 1997 manifesto was devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which ensured a high percentage of votes in these area, contributing to Labours overwhelming majority in the House of Commons. Devolution is the transfer of powers from central government, in this case, Whitehall, to sub national institutions. The devolution gave the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland assembly legislative and tax power, whereas the Welsh Assembly received only secondary legislative and executive powers, in 1998. This reform means that the United Kingdom is not a classic unitary state any more, rather a quasi-federal state, a move criticised by the opposition as an attempt to become 'Little America' (Michael Howard, 2001). ...read more.

Middle

Under the Human Rights Act, the UK's courts of law now have the power to hear cases on these rights, whereas before the Act, citizen had to go to Strasbourg. However, should a court find a piece of EU legislation not compatible with the Human Rights Act, they cannot overturn it, only suggest to Parliament to amend it as fast as possible.. In general, the opposition approve of this reform, although they feel it was not radical enough, by not restricting the executives power, and that the judges are not accountable for their judicial decisions. Labour had also pledged to introduce a Freedom of Information Act, and a white Paper was drafted in 1997. It requires public bodies to publish all information, excluding that which can be held on the basis of national security and public safety. However, citizens do not have an automatic right to see this information; it is only granted at the government's discretion. Another reform of Blair's was the House of Lords Act, in which he removed all bar 92 of the hereditary peers, replaced by elected officials. ...read more.

Conclusion

This reform has now been progressed to multiple other cities, including Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Watford. After an independent body revealed that 93% of the UK believed that the British government was corrupt as a whole, after the Tories took a �450,000 donation from a fraudster, and the Labour party exempted Formula 1 from the ban on tobacco advertising after a �1 million bribe, Blair decided that there was a need for state funding of parties in order to bring a halt to the corruption of the political world. However, at the present time, nothing has been made in this direction. In conclusion, the reforms under Blair have been mixed in their success. Whilst devolution, the Human Rights Act, and the Freedom of Information Act have proved widely popular, the House of Lords and the Regional Assembly proposal are still to be completed. Others, such as the reform of the voting system, and party funding have yet to get under way, if, indeed, they ever will. ?? ?? ?? ?? Beccy McClure 3/2/2006 Government and Politics Essay Due Date: 7/2/2006 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Jury Essay

    This occurred in the case R v West (1996) where the defendant was convicted for killing ten young girls. This meant that the media were constantly trying to get stories and could have an effect of the jury. After found guilty the defendant appealed against the verdict stating that it was impossible to have a fair case due to

  2. Assess the constitutional significance of the decision of the House of Lords

    through a special derogation Order. It did so because it felt that there were foreigners living in the UK who were dangerous terrorists but who could not be deported because they would be in danger of suffering inhuman or degrading treatment, torture or even death if they were returned to their home country, something that would be in breach of the European Convention(art 3).

  1. Liberal reform 1906-1914

    By 1914 there were 970 000 claimants, costing the Exchequer £12 million a year, which suggests that this Act was successful. The amount of money received was relatively small and it can be argued that it was not enough to prevent poverty.

  2. The purpose of this paper is to advise Tony who is an organic farmer

    In order to challenge the Organic Produce Regulations, SI 1984, Tony must make an application for judicial review. He must apply under r 54 of the Civil Procedure Rules promptly, and in any event within three months of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint (r 54.5).

  1. Explain Why the Liberal Government Introduced a Series of Reforms Between 1906-1914. What Reforms ...

    The last one which benefited the workers was the trade disputes act, which allowed trade unions to strike without being sued, which reversed the Taff Vale Judgement, but this gave too much power to the trade unions. A number of the acts benefited the young as well.

  2. In constitutional law, the word 'Parliament' is referred to as the supreme legislature of ...

    Every Act of Parliament begins as a 'Bill' which is a draft of the proposed legislation, which is created by expert draftsmen known as Parliamentary Counsel. Although most legislation is introduced by the government at the time, the House of Commons sets aside a period of time when 'backbench' or opposition members can also declare their proposals.

  1. Judicial Reform and Bill of Rights.

    Another solution to the high costs could be to remove barristers' monopoly in court, so barristers would lose their monopoly on representing clients in the higher courts. Instead, salaried lawyers working for law firms and for the Crown Prosecution Service would be able to represent clients in court.

  2. Who was the more successful president: JFK or LBJ?

    made further high level black appointments, such as the first black Americans to be part of the White House cabinet, and the first black Supreme Court judge. However, he was unable to prevent the bloody riots that took place in LA and Detroit as a result of growing racial tension,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work