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

What does it take to change the United Kingdoms constitution?

Extracts from this document...


What does it take to change the United Kingdom's constitution? There are two main sections in regard to how the constitution could be modified. It could be a tangible or intangible change. The tangible change is changing the United Kingdom's unwritten constitution to a written one with clearly set out rules. The intangible change is to modify the conventions that are followed. This is done through adaptation overtime because of procedural change or the crystallisation of conventions. The UK is in the process of writing a constitution, many of UKs ex colonies have written constitutions. There are pros and cons of whether the UK should be attempting this. This can be perceived as an opportunity to reduce the vagueness within the law; it will make the job of the judges interpreting statutes considerably easier and less ambiguous. Furthermore, it will reduce the number of different sources one must look at. It would all be clearly set out for everyone to access. Furthermore, the UK has been increasing the number of written rules for codes of conduct for government officials; it is not as unwritten as previously, an example of this is the Ministerial Code. ...read more.


Many of the principles about the constitution are very general and may easily conflict. As previously stated, most constitution-makers, do not therefore face the difficulty of selecting from a huge inheritance of existing laws, customs and conventions because they are trying to have a fresh start. Additionally, who is going to decide on what to include? The intangible change is in relation to conventions and their relationship with laws. If UK maintained their unwritten constitution, which is based on conventions, although there are increasing numbers of laws regulatory ministerial operations, one could alter the constitution through the 'crystallisation' of conventions overtime through judicial intervention and becoming increasingly formalised. However, some people argue that this is unfeasible, due to there being a strict distinctive difference between law and conventions. Albert Venn Dicey contends that constitutional "conventions were...a body not of laws, but of constitutional or political ethics...the constitutional morality of the day...not enforced or recognised by the courts..." Hood Phillips agrees that conventions are "...rules of political practice which are regarded as binding by those to whom they apply, but which are not laws as they are not enforced by the courts or by the Houses of Parliament." ...read more.


The view that courts do not "enforce" conventions, though adequate for some purposes, may frustrate constructive thought. Therefore, to change the constitution within the United Kingdom will take a significant amount of time, effort and resources. There is dispute about whether this should occur or not. Change may happen due to adaptation over time of the method or procedures the government operates with. Alternatively, it may occur due to the crystallisation of conventions into laws, having them becoming progressively formalised through judicial enforcement or just general public expectations. Both of these would occur naturally without any specific, or even intentional, intervention. Otherwise, it may be a more physical change by writing the constitution of the United Kingdom. This will give the opportunity to reform parts that are less desirable, as well as substituting the actual framework of the constitution. This would be the most effort, as it physically requires people with considerable constitutional knowledge to piece together all the information and decide what the UKs constitution should entail and which areas need improving. By creating a written constitution there will be a referable framework of that is easily accessible to everyone, it would reduce the number of sources required, as they would have already been interpreted into the constitution. Sources could be historical, judicial decisions, statutes, the unwritten constitution and amendments etc. ...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. Is There A Need For Constitutional Reform?

    The Prime Minister decided to proceed with an interim reform of the lords, which in the first instance was to include abolition of the voting rights of hereditary peers. However, this seemingly inflexible principle was soon diluted when it became clear to the Prime Minister that he did not really

  2. Electoral Systems.

    Due to the reduction in security of tenure brought about by STV, all MPs will need to win their seats on merit. Voters also tend to feel a natural link with the whole of Leeds, for example, rather than an allegiance to Leeds North or Leeds Central.

  1. How Democratic is the New Russian Constitution?

    Under the new constitution the powers of the legislature compared especially to the executive are much more substantial than before. Notable powers of parliament making the balance of power between the executive and legislature more equal and democratic are: its ability to veto presidential decrees by a two thirds majority

  2. Free essay

    U.K Constitution

    We will oppose all such unnecessary layers of government. The Union has brought us strength both economically and politically. Our constitution is flexible, fair and tolerant. We will fight to preserve the Union, a promise which only the Conservatives can give at this election.'

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