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

Outline the main principles of the Constitution.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE CONSTITUTION 1a) Outline the main principles of the Constitution [YN1] There are several principles to the constitution, the first being Parliamentary Sovereignty. This is the cornerstone of the United Kingdom's Constitution, and where before the monarch would have been sovereign, now a democratically elected body has this role. Parliament has absolute power in the country, and there is no higher authority. It is not bound by its predecessor, nor can one Parliament bind a successor. Although it has become weakened by the dominance of the executive, developments with the EU, devolution and referenda, it still remains a fundamental part of the UK Constitution. Another important principle is Conventions. These are basic practices and traditions considered binding on those to whom they apply, even though this is not legally the case. There are several main constitutional conventions: the first is parliamentary supremacy and sovereignty, whereby Parliament is not subordinate to any institution. Collective Cabinet Responsibility and Individual Ministerial responsibility are also key Conventions, which means that ministers are held accountable for their actions, for example where Lord Carrington the Foreign Secretary apologised to the Foreign Office for invading the Falklands. As well as this, the Monarch's Royal Assent to legislation passed by Parliament and the maintenance of conventions by the House of Lords are important examples of Constitutional Conventions. ...read more.

Middle

There are many constituents to it: statute and common law, constitutional conventions, treaties and laws of the EU and works of authority. Combining these are difficult, firstly due to the immense size of any sort of binding of all these documents, and secondly because of the difficulty in actually finding them to put together. 2a) Summarise the main features of devolved government in Scotland and Wales[YN4] Professor Vernon Bogdanor described devolution as "the dispersal of power from a superior to an inferior political party", whereby power is delegated from the centre, with out compromising their power. Devolution in the UK has most recently taken place within Scotland and Wales, after referenda in 1997, and in 1999, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly were implemented. In Scotland, 74.3% of those voting were in favour of the Parliament (45% of whole electorate), and 63.5 percent were in favour of tax raising powers. However in Wales, only 50.3% votes yes, only a quarter of the population in numbers actually voted for it, with just 6721 votes difference. In Scotland there is a very powerful Parliament. It has tax-varying powers, or more generally has financial and administrative power, and control of monetary systems. ...read more.

Conclusion

Devolution does not involve the sharing of sovereignty, as even though power is taken away from the government, this can be retained at any point. However, within a federalist government, sovereignty must be compromised, as power is constitutionally put in the hands of the local governments. There are other distinctions, for example federalism requires that the regional and national governments have clearly-defined responsibilities which they carry out independently of each other, whereas devolution often requires the state working with the regional devolved government. [YN1]Parliamentary Sovereignty, Rule of Law, Separation of Powers (Technically but not really) [YN2]Rigidity, Inflexibility, gets out of date, partisan, problems with entrenchment [YN3]Constitution defines the roles of the three organs of the state, and the relationship between them. Also the relationship between the state and the citizens. [YN4]Fixed term Parliaments, Regional based AMS system... better representation for the conservatives, Scotland has greater power, law making power, Wales is an administrative assembly. Scotland responsible for education, health, taxation to some extent. Jack McConnal is the First Minister in Scotland, Rhodri Morgan is First Minister in Wales. Both are Lib-Lab Coalitions, with nationalists as the opposition. [YN5]Not a minority government anymore... now a Lib-Lab Coalition [YN6]It is a BRITISH politics paper - therefore don't write all about America... More needs to be written about the European Debate - Euro-federalism [YN7]Westminster retains overall control. Use European examples rather than American comparisons. 1st April 2003 ...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. Peer reviewed

    Evaluate the case for using Referenda to decide important issues in the UK

    4 star(s)

    The result was that 65.7% voted for the UK to stay as part of the European community with only 32.5% voting to break away from the collection of countries. Referendums have also been held to decide upon the devolution of power to Scotland and Wales twice before, once in 1979 and then again in 1997.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Evaluate the case for using referenda to decide important issues in the UK

    3 star(s)

    There is also a danger that some political issues may be too complex to understand and pope may vote for a certain decision for superficial reasons without fully understanding the consequences, especially when he comes to issues of the EU and the possibility of changing the currency.

  1. What is a written constitution?

    It has been argued that Parliament could be seen to be unrestrained; as it can potentially make or unmake any law it wishes, plus a large parliamentary majority means the domination of the legislature by the executive, thus creating an "elective dictatorship".

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

    in order to draw attention to the seriousness of the woman's plight as well as indicate the different orientation required to meet her welfare needs. In most post-conflict situations we see the absence of such an approach. For example, in the treatment of the raped victims of the 1971 War

  1. The Creation of the Welfare State

    this working man's life was an improvement due to the Welfare being introduced "government was paying subsidies". If the farmer's life improved so may have other farmers across the country because they will also be receiving benefits and subsidies from the government.

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

    However, some delegated powers are extensive. Those of concern are the so-called `skeleton Acts', which contain no substantive law, but merely a set of powers to be exercised by ministers. There is also worrisome `Henry VIII' clauses in some Acts that grant powers to ministers to modify primary legislation.

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

    These scandals reduce the expectation from the people to the monarchy, and some people argue that the symbolism of the monarchy, which represents the family life and general morality, can be undermined in case of these sandals. Take the scandal of death of Dianna as example.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the devolution process in Scotland and Wales?

    This could be viewed as unfair treatment. One large objection to the introduction of devolution was the cost involved in the process. The Scottish Parliament gained the ability to change taxes by 3%. This had led to tax rises in Scotland because it is much less prosperous than the UK.

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