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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    Lord tend to be predominately white, wealthy, privately educated males with the same narrow interests. > The '2 party system'-The two main parties are not really representative of the majority of the electorate (most governments win less than 50% of the votes)

  2. Free essay

    U.K Constitution

    1997-98 Devolution Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Act 1997. Government of Wales Act 1998. Scotland Act 1998. Northern Ireland (Elections) Act 1998. Northern Ireland Act 1998. Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. Incorporation of European Convention on Human Rights: Human Rights Act 1998. Electoral reform: Registration of Political Parties Act 1998.

  1. Is nationalism in the UK reactionary or progreesive??

    Wales is essentially divided rather than united by the language issue, which explains the failure of nationalism to grow, at least until the 1999 Assembly elections. Even then seats were lost in 2003. Support for Scottish nationalism has been stronger but more volatile.

  2. priministers power

    a lame-duck Chancellor for 10 months then sacking him and provoking a vitriolic resignation speech in the Commons. The David Mellor, Michael Mates and Tim Yeo resignations were all handled in the worst possible way - saying resignations were not necessary then backing down.

  1. Should Britain adopt a written constitution?

    This might in time lead to a concordat between the Executive and Parliament or a written constitution.?[7] Jack Straw in a lecture, ? Modernizing the Magna Carta? (delivered to George Washington University( USA) held that the government might be interested to soon codify the constitution but then in an interview

  2. The British Constitution is no longer fit for purpose. Discuss.

    elections every 5 years thus meaning that the coalition government must stay the full five years creating stability, and in section 2 it says that 2/3 of the house must vote for a vote of no confidence to remove the recent one, also adding to the stability and accountability of the government.

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

    Despite the possibility of power-related corruption, throughout the years the Constitution has served us well and acted funcionally, as no British government has ever reached a state of corrupt governing such as dictatorship or kleptocracy. In this sense the UK Constitution has proven itself fit for purpose.

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

    big, significant changes without being held up, for example Barack Obama in the USA could not get any laws passed due to gridlock in congress, and this was effectively a result of complete separation of powers. Along side this, there are several undemocratic aspects to the UK constitution, for example the unelected hereditary monarchy and the House of Lords.

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