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

Discuss the arguments for and against a codified constitution

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the arguments for and against a codified constitution A constitution is a set of rules that seek to establish the duties, powers and functions of the various institutions of government, regulate the relationships between them, and define the relationship between the state and the individual. The most common way of classifying constitutions is to distinguish between codified and uncodified. The UK has an uncodified constitution. A written constitution is precisely a charter that has been codified, in that the rules and regulations that citizens / individuals must abide by are stated in a single document format. Although elements of the UK constitution are written e.g. the statute law, sections of it are not. It must be noted that America follow a written constitution called the 'Bill of Rights', and by contrast the UK at present do not adhere to a formal written constitution. Therefore, one must consider the arguments for and against a codified constitution to establish a judgement on whether the introduction of a codified constitution in the UK is a beneficial concept to acquire. 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. ...read more.


An inflexible, rigid written constitution would evolve more power into the people and the courts and disperse the sovereign powers of the decision-making of the Executive. This would be especially beneficial with Europe in mind, in that the UK is the only member of the EU without a codified constitution, and a written constitution may increase the UK's sovereignty within Europe. A written constitution would allow the British people to appeal to the courts with a written document to back up their claims with a codified document as a point of reference. An entrenched codified constitution would also be an advantage to the British Judicial system, as laws would be clearly defined so judges would be able to recognise when laws are broken, and make fairer decisions. A written document would not only modernise British law, but would also follow the majority of the countries in the world, who have working proof that written constitutions are beneficial and successful. Despite the large number of arguments for a codified constitution to be incorporated into the UK, there are also many arguments against an entrenched document. Our present constitution may contain many sources, but there is no denying that our constitution does work and the UK has a successful judicial system and a democratic Parliament, even though it may run in a different way than a country with a written constitution such as the USA. ...read more.


The final disadvantage of introducing a codified constitution into Britain is that the supposed inflexible and rigid nature of written constitutions of other countries is often open to amendments when laws are out dated. Unless our constitution declared that the constitution could not be amended, there is danger that laws may need to be changed and it would not be possible. If we adopted a written constitution and amended it whenever necessary, there would hardly be any difference to the present constitutional system. An uncodified constitution on the other hand is flexible and the UK does not need a complicated procedure to change it unlike the USA which has a codified constitution. Parliament can change our constitution when the electorate votes for change. Overall, there are valid reasons for and against written constitutions, in that a written constitution would bring many economical, social and political benefits, and be a worthwhile move for the future of the UK, and will protect against arbitrary government. However by contrast there are also a great number of arguments against a codified constitution, which would pose the country a lot of problems if Parliament decided to introduce one. A valid point is that there may not be many negative consequences of introducing a codified constitution, but as the present one works efficiently, I think there is simply no necessity for one. ...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 United States 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 United States essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the ...

    5 star(s)

    However, what the future will hold is uncertain. If the original arguments for the Electoral College are now no longer valid, or at least not as valid, what possible reforms can be made to the system? One such suggested reform is to get rid of electors entirely and operate ECVs on a purely automatic system.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    "The Main Difference Between the UK And US Constitution Is That One Is Flexible ...

    4 star(s)

    Brown v. Topeka Board of Education 1954 saw the Supreme Court take huge steps by desegregating schools and in areas where this was not respected troops were sent in to ensure it was carried out. Roe v. Wade 1973 the Supreme Court made it legal for women to seek abortion in the first three months of pregnancy.

  1. Do the strengths of the Constitution outweigh the weaknesses?

    George Bush took the USA to war without discussing it in the senate, not necessarily acting outside the bounds of his role as the executive and chief of armed forces, but questionably ignoring the intent of the constitution to ensure that such decisions were put forward in congress first, to prevent over accumulation of power into one individual.

  2. US pressures groups are undemocratic, discuss

    They too are able to enhance public education. Many suggest that they educate the public opinion, ensuring everyone is conscious of the dangers if the government does not deal issues of importance and the effects of decisions made by the governments too.

  1. The constitution has failed to provide for the effective government of the USA discuss.

    inflexible; this may also cause the government to not be able to deal with a situation which may make them seem weak and powerless therefore there would be a lot of criticism. At times the government may seem inflexible or ineffective but that is only "at times", some people would blame the constitution for this.

  2. US Constitution Definition of Terms

    Since Congress cannot vote while in adjournment, a pocket veto cannot be overridden. James Madison was the first president to use the pocket veto in 1812. Social Contract Describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people form states and/or maintain social order.

  1. The Political System of the USA

    Vice-president presides over the Senate and conducts debates. The Senate is stable and more conservative than the House of Representatives and many Senators are more experienced politicians. The House of representatives has 450 members. The number of Representatives depends on the population of each state. A Representative must be at least 25 years age, a US citizen for

  2. Does the UK have a 'constitution'

    Instead it is made up of common law, statute law and convention. Of all the democratic countries in the world, only Israel is comparable to Britain in having no single document codifying the way its political institutions function and setting out the basic rights and duties of its citizens.

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