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

Discuss whether ministerial accountability is adequately addressed under the UK constitution

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Katie O'Hara Word Count: 698 "The prerogative has allowed powers to move from Monarch to Ministers without Parliament having a say in how they are exercised. This should no longer be acceptable to Parliament or the people." Discuss whether ministerial accountability is adequately addressed under the UK constitution The Royal Prerogative has allowed a wide array of discretionary powers to be delegated from the Monarch to ministers without a need to seek parliamentary approval. This system is both unjust and undemocratic as it leaves a number of largely unchecked powers in the hands of a privileged few. These powers, including the ability to ratify treaties, declare war, regulate the civil service and appoint ministers, have a profound effect on the lives of the citizens of the United Kingdom and therefore it is necessary for them to be regulated by Parliament, the democratically elected body of the British people. ...read more.

Middle

It could, therefore, be surmised that Parliament has sufficient constitutional authority over how ministers exercise their powers. While the existence of the convention of ministerial responsibility does heighten the accountability of the government to Parliament, it is largely ineffective. There are no strict rules over when a minister should resign or not and, therefore, as Barnett states "... existence and acceptance of responsibility does not necessarily lead to resignation."2 Whether a minister decides to resign or not largely depends on the ministers own sense of guilt and responsibility and the pressure put on him by his party. Estelle Morris, for example, took responsibility for the A-level fiasco in 2002, where as Byers did not resign until an outbreak of public and media criticism made his position untenable. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is only those which gravely affect the lives of the public that Parliament should review. As Jack Straw stated, "the royal prerogative has no place in a modern Western democracy... only part of our constitutional arrangement has been endorsed by Parliament. The rest derives from royal prerogative... Accountability of the executive is fundamental to any democracy... where power is not based on statue but on the royal prerogative, it is accountability that suffers."4 In order to make ministers accountable to Parliament it is necessary to define their powers and the circumstances in which they can exercise them under statue. As well as, giving greater parliamentary scrutiny over the use of powers which greatly affect the lives of the British people. However, with the British constitution not being codified and the wide scope of the royal prerogative powers it may improve impossible to do so. ...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 Kingdom 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 Kingdom essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How effective is the British Constitution in protecting the rights of its citizens?

    3 star(s)

    However, private members bills have succeeded in changing the laws on capital punishment, abortion, seat belts, and divorce. The Whip system in parliament has often been the question of debate. Parliament is supposed to be a place where legislation can be debated but a three line whip may cause an

  2. The prerogative has allowed powers to move from Monarch to Ministers without Parliament having ...

    Ministers are, therefore, accountable to Parliament for the decisions that they make using the prerogative and their use of powers is subject to scrutiny by Departmental Select Committees. It could, therefore, be surmised that Parliament has sufficient constitutional authority over how ministers exercise their powers.

  1. Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874-1965).

    In the next few years, he held several other government appointments but was defeated at the general election in 1922. For some time he had not been in complete agreements with the Liberals and after he was elected to the parliament again, in 1924, he returned to the Conservatives and was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1924 to 1929.

  2. Unit 1 - Example of Evaluations

    What is not so good about it and what did not work The vast area of white space makes my questionnaire look relatively empty and I don't feel I made the most of the space I had to work with; I could have made my boxes bigger or changed the

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