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

What is sovereignty?

Extracts from this document...


Government and Politics: Timed Essay What is sovereignty? The idea of sovereignty is the idea of someone holding supreme power. For example in the United Kingdom we have parliamentary sovereignty. This means that parliament holds supreme power in the land with no constraints. However sovereignty is affected and controlled by certain things such as public opinion and outside influences including the media etc. That is why although sovereignty gives supreme power to the bearer it can sometimes be restricted by uncontrollable means. However ultimately, if remove all other influences and theories, sovereignty is the word used to describe something that is given to someone or something to hold supreme power, and this power should technically be un-unquestionable, that is the idea of sovereignty. Where is sovereignty located in the UK? The monarch originally always held sovereignty. However in 1649 after the English civil war sovereignty in the UK was handed over to parliament after the execution of Charles I, and the running of the country became a dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell. ...read more.


So although in theory the UK could leave the EU if it really disagreed with something, in practice this would not be economically or politically viable and so we are bound by their laws. So although sovereignty ultimately rests with the executive, the monarch still has to agree to laws and the monarch still holds military powers but these are never used in practice. The only constraint to sovereignty is the EU that we could technically leave at anytime. So practically sovereignty in the UK is located within the government but in theory the EU can say 'no' to our legislation. This is where sovereignty is located in the UK. Why has the UK's un-codified constitution been criticised? Over the years the UK's un-written or un-codified constitution has been criticised. This criticism has not only come from countries with a codified constitution but also within the UK as well. Although the UK constitution is un-codified it has however been around longer than any constitution in the entire world. ...read more.


The advantage of having an un-codified constitution is that in an emergency and act or law can be added pr removed completely within twenty-four hours as no government can bind another government. So basically there are both advantages and disadvantages of both systems. With an un-codified constitution not everything is set in stone so things can be adjusted from case to case and also it is very quick and easy to change. The disadvantage to this is that this gives a lot of power to the executive and in theory they could run a dictatorship with no one to stop them. This is an advantage of a codified constitution because it is not very easily change and so does not give a lot of power to a few people. The disadvantage of this system is that things take a long time to change and can never be completely removed. Despite both the advantages and disadvantages of both of the systems, each system works best for the country that uses it. So all the UK's constitution has been criticised it obviously works because it has lasted for such a long period of time. GREIG RAWLINGS ...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 States 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 States essays

  1. Federalism essay

    Like Germany, the Constitution of the United States is built around the concept of the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances. This Constitution was drawn up in 1787 by the Founding Fathers, to replace the weak confederation that had existed since the Declaration of Independence.

  2. The British Constitution

    We now have a Prime Ministerial Style of government. It could be said that some believe this role is changing into a Presidential role. Like the US President, the British Prime Minister is a World Leader. Currently standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with America sending his troops to war. The Executive has an immense power.

  1. presidential power how far does it go

    For example, one officer reported himself for the following infraction; he fired a gun near a detainee's head, a Geneva Convention violation, but one that saved the lives of his soldiers. As for the defense of the general policy we must resort to definition of law.

  2. How is Britain's constitution changing in the 21st century?

    Labour has implemented policy changes in significant areas, yet their programme of constitutional reform is ongoing. In no area I have outlined is there a satisfactory finished article. The domains of constitutional reform are interrelated to a point that reform in one area of Britain's constitution could dramatically alter pillars in another section.

  1. The Australian Constitution is the ultimate law ruling in Australia

    as motor car accident liability; and other areas such as mercantile law, general criminal law, urban planning, road traffic, prevention of pollution, most forms of health services, industrial and agricultural productions and regulations of trade and professions. Another important order of the constitution is that of the separation of powers.

  2. 'The President faces considerable constraints in domestic policy in comparison to the UK Prime ...

    choose a cabinet from House of Commons/Lords whereas the President can choose anyone out the 250 million people in America. However, the President's selections are subject to further constraints. A broad social and geographical balance must be present in the cabinet as a great degree of expertise.

  1. The House of Commons avoids the

    It could therefore be said that Congress is potentially less partisan than the HoC, and as such is capable of making decisions based on the quality of the bill instead of partisan alignment. To further complicate the situation, the president also has input in the legislative process.

  2. Larry Craig - Idaho Rests On His Shoulders

    The committee is also responsible for how the Food and Drug Administration operates, including the process for approving drugs and medical devices. So, I was not surprised to see he received contributions from insurance companies as well as other health sector entities.

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