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

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Introduction

Government & Politics Essay "The UK constitution is no longer fit for purpose". Discuss (40 marks) A constitution is a set of rules that seek to establish the duties, powers and functions of the various institutions of government, regulate relationships between them and define the relationship between the state and individual. In the United Kingdom, the constitution is uncodified, meaning that it is not written down in one place or in fact written down at all. Some areas of our constitution, such as the Human Rights Act are written down but other parts are not written and exist in the form of precedence, i.e. that we've had the rules for a long time, haven't written them down but continue to use them. This uncodified constitution makes the UK constitution open to interpretation unlike a codified constitution such as in the USA where everything is written down in a document and easily defined but not easily flexible. A key argument against the UK constitution is that due to it being uncodified, it can wield an enormous amount of power as it is open to interpretation. This can be bad as governments can openly interpret the constitution as it is not written down and twist it so that they can get their own way. ...read more.

Middle

They argue that as the constitution is not fully up to date with modern institutions, it is not fit for purpose. An alternative would be to change the constitution so it is in check with modern institutions but not entrench it so as to keep the constitution free flowing and able to change to keep up to date. However, the counter argument would be that the British constitution represents conservatism and enshrines British values having withstood the test of time to prove it works. People on the right wing argue that the British constitution is still fit for purpose as it has proved enduring throughout massive social and political change in history. They say that as the constitution is uncodified, it again is flexible and is able to adapt and endure through changing times. Also, a further argument against the UK constitution's fitness for purpose is that it results in political apathy and does not encourage participation in political methods and institutions meaning that most of the general public are ignorant of politics itself. For example, the UK constitution does not say that you have to vote like in Australia where their constitution says that voting is compulsory. ...read more.

Conclusion

To conclude, I would say that the UK constitution is fit for purpose for the following reasons. Firstly, it allows flexibility within the country; the constitution can be quickly and easily changed and because it is unentrenched, it can evolve over time to modern institutions such as for example if legislation is passed to make the House of Lords elected. Also, executive power and parliament are supreme so that the government can act without legal and constitutional impediments such as in for example a national emergency. The UK constitution has also been proven to have withstood the test of time and has endured through many changes in the country and also it upholds tradition and precedence, there is a lot of continuity with the past and upholds authoritative institutions such as the House of Lords and the monarchy. Finally, it gives political supremacy over legal supremacy and so can offer a mixture of the two so that cases are based on legal precedence but that the law can be influenced by Parliament so that judges and politicians do not have too much power. ?? ?? ?? ?? Max Rodgers 12A Government & Politics ...read more.

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