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

"The US Constitution is entrenched and rigid; the UK has no Constitution worthy of that name." To what extent do you agree with this view? (40 marks)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"The US Constitution is entrenched and rigid; the UK has no Constitution worthy of that name." To what extent do you agree with this view? (40 marks) This quote is certainly questionable, and there are many factors that need to be considered before a definite answer can be given. The term Constitution refers to a set of written rules and procedures by which a country is governed. It determines the structures and powers of the organs of the state. In this quote, the Constitution may be entrenched and rigid implying the processes to change or amend it are complex and difficult to achieve. The UK's Constitution is made more complicated due to the various sources it has, both written and unwritten. This makes it more flexible and more open to changes and amendments. In 1787, as a result of revolution in the US-the American war of independence- the Founding Fathers created a written, codified Constitution. On the other hand, the Constitution in the UK is a result of organic development and evolution. It has many sources, some unwritten, rather than one document. This makes it uncodified. The sources come under headings of Statute law, Common law, Conventions and Works of authority. In the US only 27 amendments have been made to the Constitution, the first 10 of these known as the Bill of Rights. ...read more.

Middle

The judges are appointed, not elected by the people, and because of this he and many others feel it is wrong for them to hold powers as great as these. In the UK however, courts do not hold this power. They can only 'mould' Acts of Parliament through interpretation. Therefore it could be disputed that they have less power than those in the US. It is argued that the codified Constitution in the US is failing to change along with society due to its inflexibility. The most notorious failure to change surrounds the 2nd Amendment- the right to keep and bear arms. This was created in the eighteenth century to ensure the continuation and flourishing of the state militias as a means of defense. In present times, this is arguably not necessary and much pain and devastation have resulted. Examples include not only rises in more common crimes but also in mass killings, and more recently killings at an Amish school and Virginia tech college. The 'outdated' amendment highlights how inflexible the US Constitution really is. The UK, as explained earlier, could change the laws and Constitution much more easily so that it was more modern and relevant to present day needs. However, the US Constitution's granting of power to Congress to 'provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States' is an example where it is surprisingly flexible. ...read more.

Conclusion

If this amendment was to be discarded, many would accept it to be inevitable that crime rates would fall in time and less peoples' lives would be upset or destroyed. I do however understand the need to uphold the US Constitution as it needs to apply to everyone in every state. The Separation of Powers are, in my opinion, a brilliant tool. They allow checks and balances that among other things reduce the chances of one part of government becoming over powerful. The UK's Constitution though, in my opinion, is far more in touch with the present times we live in. However, I can sympathise with people who become frustrated when more and more power is passed to the EU, causing pooling of sovereignty. It would be extremely difficult to return the powers from the EU, even though in theory it is possible. Since the UK joined the EC in 1973, the acquis communitaire has led the UK towards a more codified constitution, while stopping short of adopting a fully codified constitution. EU laws and treaties now form an important written element of our constitution. They include the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law in 1998 and The Freedom of Information Act 2000. I think caution and careful decisions must be taken before rushing into short term decisions on the Constitution, and the referendum promised on the EU treaty should used. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 Political Philosophy 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 Political Philosophy essays

  1. Accounts for the changes in voting behaviour in the last 30 years in UK ...

    With the inability to perform in Europe and losing their reputation as an economically competent party after losing Britain's membership to the ERM, the belief and alliance that the voters showed in the conservatives would no longer be a certainty.

  2. Evolution of Democracy and the Athenian Constitution

    There is some dispute as to whether the Council of the Areopagus had existed before the time of Solon or if he set it up. But as Plutarch argues (Plutarch, Solon; p: 61), Solon's own laws drafted by himself about disenfranchisement of citizens hint that it probably existed before his time.

  1. Are Judges Politicians In Disguise?

    In making this decision, the Supreme Court established their power of "judicial review", which allows them to strike down laws that they found unconstitutional. There is another case which is a direct challenge to the neutrality and non partisanship of the Supreme Court judges.

  2. To what extent do recent elections in the UK and the USA support the ...

    (I. Crewe, 1983: 19) We described dealignment as, 'the reduction if not loss of class alignment to a specific party'. Indeed, class "has been the primary choice almost exclusive social base of party choice." (I. Crewe, 1983 p192) in Britain the debate about embourgeoisement resurfaced.

  1. The Parliamentary Reform and Redistribution Act of 1884 - 1885.

    The Social Democratic Federation While on holiday in the United States in 1881, H. M. Hyndman read a copy of Karl Marx's Das Capital. Hyndman was deeply influenced by the book and decided to form a Marxist political group when he arrived back in England.

  2. The Search for independence, Macedonia

    Actually in the 19th century, one Balkan nation after another developed strong nationalist movements and won independence from the Turks. Worth to mention here is that by the 1890's in Macedonia a national movement was developed. In 1896 the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization /VMRO/ tried to resist the influence of

  1. To what extent are maps simply the embodiment of information and technique?

    In this respect, no matter how mechanized and determined a universe the cartographer may imagine, the purposive actions that drive his study are themselves stubbornly teleological. Questioning how far the subjective interferes, accepts the school that suggests maps are more about social control, and are usually created to serve the

  2. Singapores founding fathers contributed most to its economy. Do you agree? Explain your argument.

    This stabilise the home market as products would be more affordable. During that period, labour force was also suffering from a low standard of welfare. Some of the workers were literally starving to death. Such labour force did not have high effectiveness in working, losing its competitiveness.

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