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

Explain the arguments for and against introducing a codified constitution

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the arguments for and against introducing a codified constitution. Discuss. Ursula Oliver 12RJ At present, the UK's constitution is uncodified or de facto; there is no single document though the majority of Britain's constitution lies in written form of acts, court judgments and treaties. The foundation of British constitution is the doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty where acts passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law. Therefore, simply by passing an Act, Parliament has power to change the constitution. This has caused debate over whether this uncodified constitution is seen as flexible or a liability to the UK. Some people wish to recover the constitution by introducing a codified constitution which is entrenched, whereas others such as Conservative leader David Cameron believe a British Bill of Rights alongside or instead of the Human Rights Act is best whilst maintaining an uncodified constitution. Arguments for introducing a codified constitution usually suggest that the introduction would help to correct imbalances in the current political system. This refers mainly to the second chamber and considering the constitutional status the House of Lords holds, whilst also allowing a discussion over the relation between the executive and legislature. ...read more.

Middle

With an entrenched constitution, like in the US, our rights would be more accessible. At present, where it is unwritten, it isn't known so people are reliant on the government to remain playing by unwritten rules. If we were to become more aware of our rights, we would be more likely to claim them, too. Some feel it would be safer and more democratic for a definitive on constitutional arrangements and procedures and law to be limited. Therefore, it seems there is a demand for our constitution to become codified in order to protect our rights and strengthen the constitution in case of constitutional crisis. However, it is argued that these demands for a codified constitution come from academics rather than the people, without real need. Britain has not undergone a constitutional crisis of any sort like Germany and Japan after the Second World War, and the only time there would be a need for a written document would be if Scotland became independent. At present, the people seem broadly satisfied that the nature of government is legitimate and creating a codified constitution could easily widen divisions instead of healing them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Taking everything into consideration, I refer back to the proposal of introducing a British Bill of Rights. This can create a common bond, a unifying force, unlike a codified constitution which would only create greater divisions. Building on the Human Rights Act, a Bill of Rights gives further effect to principles like the Magna Carta which is still relevant to modern situations where social mobility and diversity is increasing. Those concerned with the lack of knowledge over rights would be at rest as a Bill of Rights also ensures individuals are given a clearer idea of what to expect from public authorities and each other. This increases citizenship and gives room for educational improvement as well covering economic and social rights which are not recognised under the Human Rights Act. Linking peoples rights and responsibilities and highlighting the differences, a Bill of Rights ensures a flexible and adaptable constitution remains and can often be seen as "Human Rights Act plus". Therefore it does not create unnecessary debate over a codified constitution and its funding issues nor does it conceal people's rights. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Overall this essay shows evidence of knowledge and understanding. There are some good ideas put forward in this essay but the limited evaluation of the points made hinders the development of a good argument. It would be better to have argument followed by counter argument, rather than listing all the arguments for and then all the arguments against.

***

Marked by teacher Jessica Jung 07/04/2012

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

    Impact of government policies

    3 star(s)

    999 response times in certain other areas of South Yorkshire and so it needed to move the under-utilised resources to a place where they would have a better impact on targets. In this case, the corporate plan put forward by the South Yorkshire fire authority involved a new Dearne Valley

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    Parliament has a close hold over the British Constitution. As discussed earlier it is uncodified and can therefore be amended by each party who holds a parliamentary term. Any amendment must first go through both houses of parliament before a Royal Assent finalises it and makes it into an Act.

  1. To what extent have constitutional reforms since 1997 reduced the powers of the UK ...

    this was a monumental moment in British politics and has chapped the way people view politicians. People therefore argue that this constitutional reform has reduced the power of the UK government. However people have argued that the act has not limited government powers as when you look into the act government is protected.

  2. To what extent are judges neutral and independent?

    Also, the Belmarsh case said that the government could not detain terrorist suspects without trial. This shows that judges are defending citizens' rights rather than siding with the government - and shows both judicial independence and neutrality as they choose to side with citizens and the protection of individual rights rather than the government and its intervention.

  1. The UK constitution is no longer fit for purpose. Discuss.

    was written to represent institutions that are now outdated, for example the House of Lords and the monarchy. People on the left wing would argue that these institutions do not represent the people as they are not democratically elected, they would want to see the constitution change to modernise with

  2. "Parliament carries out none of it's function adequately". Discuss

    I think that Parliament has not carried out this process well in the past, but now, with a coalition in power, there is a larger degree of debate around Bills ? two parties are in control, not two. Another function of Parliament is representation ? linking the people to the government.

  1. How successful have the UK constitutional reforms been since 1997?

    The reform took place to prevent this. This had to happen as Britain claim a modern democracy, and that judiciary system was highly contradicting the democratic fashion of Britain.

  2. How far was New Labor influenced by Thatcher?

    need to gain support from voters in the middle of the spectrum. However Downs also developed this point, claiming that parties who attain the opposition status for a period of time tend to ?change their ideologies to resemble that of the party which defeated them,? which would not only explain Labour?s move toward centre politics but also towards Conservatism.

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