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Outline a case for and against a written bill of rights.

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Introduction

Outline a case for and against a written bill of rights Currently we British do not have a written bill of rights. A bill of rights is considered to be a special set of laws entrenched into the constitution which sets out the rights and freedoms that are enjoyed by every citizen. It is entrenched in the constitution which is vital because it means that it would be far more difficult for the executive to change it (this could be done in a number of ways, for example by making the majority needed for the bill to pass 70% rather than 50+1% for conventional laws). Currently in the UK we are a long way from this, we don't even have a codified constitution. In theory all British laws are the same. There is no difference between constitutional laws and normal laws, meaning there is no entrenchment and no extra difficulty in changing constitutional laws like there is in all other Western constitutions. ...read more.

Middle

Many would say it would put too many political decisions in the hands of judges political decisions should rest with the legislature. Judges would also be put in a difficult position because many exiting laws would conflict with a bill of rights. The rule of law demands a clear, enforceable statement of citizen's rights, a bill of rights would provide this is what many of those who want reform say. However the rule of law contains many dated suggestions and is the judiciary already not enforcing law effectively? Having such an uncompromising bill of rights surely wouldn't promote the evolution of the constitution which the British have enjoyed throughout history. It would possibly be so entrenched that once some constitutional laws became dated, they still couldn't be changed. At least the reliance upon conventions ensures laws that evolve. Also, the introduction of a bill of rights could lead to a full scale reformation of the constitution; this is what many are hoping for but I along with most others think that this would be wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

If constitutional reform is what people want, there are however various other options. The government could create a department of justice which is itself be accountable and elected into power. This would replace the currently unelected, unaccountable Lord Chancellor's department. The creation of a supreme court, as a last means of appeal, rather than the House of Lords. This would separate the powers and make those in power more impartial and from a wider range of society. A fourth option is that judges could be elected, making them more representative of society. This however has many problems with it. I however am not so worried about what we shall do to our own constitution, rather what the big guns in Europe shall do if we join the United States of Europe, they will have a bill of rights which having looked at the evidence I am opposed to. If we join Europe, sovereignty will not lie with Westminster or the courts, instead with a commission that is looking out for a whole continent rather than just us. ...read more.

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