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Should Britain have a codified constitution?

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Should Britain have a codified constitution? In this essay I am going to look at the arguments for and against, the issue of Britain's constitutional system and if Britain does to change to a codified constitution. But first it is necessary to describe what a codified and un-codified constitution. A codified constitution normally is written in some critical moment in a countries history, i.e. after a civil war or a revolution. Codification is the process of setting out a constitution in an organized single way, thus it means that a codified constitution resides in a singly document which every citizen has a right to view. When a country has a codified constitution it also has what is known as a two-tier legal system, which in basic terms means that there are two levels of law. An example of these higher laws is in Germany where they are referred to as 'basic laws'. However Britain does not have a codified constitution but an un-codified constitution. An un-codified constitution unlike a codified one has not been written form in a single form. ...read more.


If they have a political mandate from the people, the government can reform the constitution, as with the example of the House of Lords. If you had to have a two thirds majority in both houses, this measure would never have been passed; neither would devolution. In countries like the USA, it is nearly impossible to change their constitution. How do we know that what is best for us now will still be best in 100 years time? Flexibility is also good for a country as it can change laws to fit into the situation the country is in. For example if the country was at war, the same laws would not be suitable as they were when the country was at peace. A country does need to adapt its laws and that would be not possible if Britain changed to a codified constitution which is rigid to any change of law. Parliament is subject to a constitution, it is simply not written down. The constitutional shows that Britain's un-codified constitution is very sound and have served us well, this argument backs up the basic fact of 'why should we change?' ...read more.


If somebody wanted to flaunt democratic procedures it would be as hard now as it would with a written constitution. Thus, there are many arguments for adopting a codified constitution in the UK, and there are many pressure groups, political figures and ordinary people who believe that the UK should have one. Our un-codified constitution is deemed as old fashioned, and there is not even an agreement about what it actually contains as it is made up of various conventions and statute laws etc. Constitutions are supposed to be the fundamental social compacts by which authority and order are maintained, and so the UK having a written codified constitution would not only provide a rigid means of protecting the people from the ultimate power of change, however the ability to change rules can be more beneficial than harmful. I conclude that even though Britain's constitution has its cons it works due to its less rigid rules and the ability to change laws due to its unwritten nature. Maybe a change could be good for Britain, but in my opinion I think the un-codified constitution works well in our ever evolving country. Jessica Gruet 12T ...read more.

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