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

Britain has no written constitution or comprehensive Bill of Rights, and is found partly in conventions and customs and partly in statutes.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Student number: 0117697 Unit name: Constitutional and Administrative Law Unit Teacher: Richard Ryder Britain has no written constitution or comprehensive Bill of Rights, and is found partly in conventions and customs and partly in statutes. Conventions are rules and practices which are not legally enforceable but are regarded as indispensable to the working government; many which are derived from the historical events through which the British government has evolved. McEldowney implies that the constitution is a living dynamic organism, which reflects the moral and political values of the people it governs. The British constitution is one of the oldest in incessant continuation and is often regarded as prescriptive or unofficial because it lacks written substance. 'The British constitution has not been made but has grown...the building has been constantly added to, patched and partly reconstructed...it has never been razed to the ground and rebuilt on new foundations.' Since the British constitution is unwritten there is no one single source where it can be found. The main sources that make up the British constitution include Acts of Parliament, Common law, Conventions, European Law and Constitional Writings. Acts of Parliament as statute law constitute the most important features of the British Constitution. ...read more.

Middle

There is a classic distinction drawn by Bryce on flexible and rigid constitutions. In a flexible constitution there is no difference between ordinary and constitutional laws. In terms of legal principle and procedures, the latter may be amended or repealed as easily as the former eg Act of Union with Scotland1707, which amongst other things abolished the English Parliament and instituted a new British Parliament in Westminster. Provisions in this legislation have been amended by legislation passed by the Westminster Parliament in the normal way. On the other extreme is the constitution of the United States of America, which without a doubt is one of the most rigid constitutions in the world. Under the U.S constitution, formally adopted in 1789, an amendment maybe proposed in one of two ways. Either two thirds of all members (not just the members present) of each house of Congress may agree that certain amendments are necessary or they will be forced to call a special convention to consider amendments when petitioned to do so by the legislatures of two thirds of all the 50 states. However some have argued that a written constitution without a commitment to its principles and civil justice has often proved to be a temporary or rapidly reversed gesture. ...read more.

Conclusion

In defence of our present constitution, many would argue that this system has served us well over the centuries, that our parliamentary traditions have combined stability and flexibility and that we should not cast away in a minute what has taken generations to build (' ...has not been made but has grown... the building has been constantly added to, patched and partially reconstructed'). However I strongly believe that it should be within our rights to demand a system that will improve consistency and steadiness in the quality of our government. There should also be reforms to assist in entrenching, clarifying and widening the present separations between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary as the branches of our government are over fused and no real separation exists. No constitution is or can be perfectly symmetrical, what it can be and must be is generally accepted as both fair and useable. 1 Beatty v Gillbanks (1882) 9 QBD 308 Queens Bench Division 2 Allan ' The Politics of the British Constitution: a response to Professor Ewing's paper 2000 3 Constitutional and Administrative Law unit guide University of East London 4 Stanley Baldwin - Altavista web engine, look for constitutional and administrative law 5 Constitutional and Administrative Law, third edition, Michael Allen, Brian Thompson and Bernadette Walsh ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Britain has a constitutional monarchy. The 'constitutional monarchy' is in which the monarch acknowledges ...

    Basically, the democracy means the power in people's hand. In most democracy-developed country, these powers are placed on the legislative (the parliament) and the elected head of state that can represent the people's view. However, these powers are all put under the Queen's title in Britain, which the House of Lords recently assumed that the Queen was born to be.

  2. how can the judiciary protect human rights?

    These bodies may also be forced to grant individual compensation. The Freedom of Information Act, which came into force in 2005, gives citizens and courts the rights to see a much wider range of documents than before. This gives the courts a wider scope for discovering whether injustice has been done and whether civil liberties have been abused.

  1. What is a written constitution?

    With that said, the UK, despite not possessing a formal written constitution, has a series of notable constitutional documents. The entry of the UK into the European Union in 1973 caused a major constitutional development, bringing Britain under the supra-national jurisdiction of the EU.

  2. Free essay

    Revision - Fairness and Justice. Rights and responsibilities as a British Citizen?

    been released from prison and help set up a new live for them from prison. 4. Why does the media matter and how influential is it? Key term Media This means communication which influences people widely.

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    It is essential therefore those women's perceptions be incorporated into the charter of demands from the very beginning. Time and again however we have seen this to be absent in many indigenous or local movements. In the demand for autonomy made by the hill people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts,

  2. Representation and Democracy in Britain 1830 – 1931

    He represented a tradition that passed away with him. His contemporaries recognized his greatness as a statesman. He combined a realism and clarity of view with a fundamentally ethical approach to diplomacy, which sought to conciliate and pacify while maintaining important national interests.

  1. 'THE SEPERATION OF POWERS: FACT OR FICTION UNDER THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION?'

    While these powers may improve the efficiency of the Parliamentary process, they strengthen the executive at the expense of the legislature. This situation results from the fact that in the UK, although formally the purpose of general elections is to elect Parliamentary representatives, the party system means that in fact we are electing the Government.

  2. Women's Suffrage.

    decided to settle for something which they had consistently rejected in the pre-war period: the enfranchisement of women on different terms from those applicable to men.

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