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Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of the British Constitution

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´╗┐Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Constitution. The UK constitution is uncodified and only parts of it are entrenched. Whilst many people feel that the UK constitution works well without it being entirely codified, many others feel that there are too many weaknesses towards the constitution and therefore, the constitution obviously does not work as it is at the moment. There are many strengths and weaknesses within the constitution which make it how it is today. How much these factors affect the constitution and whether or not it should be changed is really to be decided by the individual that is assessing it, as many people have different opinions on what does and doesn?t working within the constitution. Flexibility within the constitution means that it is able to respond quickly and effectively to change, for example the ?O?Donnell rules? are an entrenched work of authority. This shows that the constitution can cope with both entrenched and unentrenched documents without it causing confusion. ...read more.


This is the argument for uncertainty which is a weakness of the constitution. Changes often occur through democratic pressure, for example the Great Reform Act of 1832 where all middle class men got the vote or the Equal Franchise Act of 1929 where women got the vote. This shows that the constitution has adapted through time and has devolved power to the people which is something it would not be able to do if the constitution was codified. However, the form in which elections takes place (first past the post0 means that in Britain we have elective dictatorship. Moreover, constitutional commentators have suggested that the fundamental principles of the rule of law have been ignored or bypasses by successive governments, for example the 1989 poll tax law which the majority saw as unjust and led to riots. The 1984 criminal justice act significantly curtailed an accused persons right to remain silent and contravened human rights. ...read more.


This is called centralisation and is a weakness of an uncodified constitution. Britain has not had a violent revolution since the English Civil War. The UK constitution has evolved and developed differently to other codified constitutions. Constitutional rules and principles have been tested by time, for example, the monarchy has adapted as British culture and politics has changed in order to keep the monarchy part of Britain. The rule of Law has worked since 2001; in 2004 the Labour government was forced to amend its anti- terror legislation after the House of Lords ruled that indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without trial was incompatible with the Human Rights Act and in breach of the most fundamental principles of the rule of Law. This proves that Britain is a stable democracy and furthermore that the UK constitution works without having to be codified. On the other hand, codification would entrench people?s rights, defining the relationship between the state and citizens, possibly through a bill of rights. Rights would therefore be clearly defined and they would be easier to ensure. ...read more.

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