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Discuss the view that there is nothing to be gained in writing a constitution down

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Introduction

Discuss the view that there is nothing to be gained in writing a constitution down. The United Kingdom has an uncodified constitution. This means that there is not one single document outlining the laws and customs of the land, but a number of different articles, acts and judicial decisions that have been made throughout English history. There are advantages of having a system like this, most obviously is the flexibility and adaptable nature of this method, allowing parliament to modernise or adjust previous laws in our uncodified constitution. This is contrasted to another practise by which the constitution is enshrined in a single document, this is known as having a codified constitution, such as in the USA. The fact that the laws and customs of the land have been written down to the finest detail (even dates that elections should be held on) ...read more.

Middle

New Labour have set out to reform certain constitutional matters, but it is complicated to address a problem that is a lengthy and simply not interesting to the public. It would also be difficult for England to produce a properly codified constitution unless the whole structure of the executive and parliament were reformed and this is a difficult, unpopular and risky procedure. This implies that the parliament and more particularly the ruling party in parliament have more power, due to an unbalanced system. A way to counteract this problem, some say, is by introducing a codified constitution to protect the power of the judiciary and clearly outline the executive's power. This would be a large step to take for Britain because it has been the same system for many hundreds of years, however just because the British system might suite an uncodified system better simply because it has had time to evolve and entrench itself into our lives and laws. ...read more.

Conclusion

So it is clear that there are obvious differences in having either a codified or uncodified constitution and both have their advantages. A federal system, such as the US works with a written constitution and even though it may be difficult to alter; it provides clear checks an balances, allowing all three branches of government to enjoy their own clear protected power. However states such as the UK have a different system simply because of our different political history and even though there is not a single document outlining a clear constitution there are many acts, judicial decisions and more recently the Human Rights Act that are still there to protect our rights and provide checks. However, the main problem with not writing anything down is that the can be an unfair balance of power leaning towards the executive and this could potentially lead to much larger problems. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Steele 1 ...read more.

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