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Sources of the UK Constitution.

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Introduction

Sources of the UK Constitution 1. Statute Law Acts passed by Westminster parliament are the highest legal source of the constitution, and a majority of one vote in the HOC is sufficient to introduce major changes in the constitution, for example The European Communities Act 1972 It's not possible to entrench constitutional laws in the UK on account of the doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty. Therefore parliament cannot be limited in its actions by any past statute or agreement Examples of statutes which define the system of government include; a series of local government acts establishing and controlling the powers of local authorities, The Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland Acts of 1998-9 which granted devolved powers, and The Human Rights Act of 1999. ...read more.

Middle

3. Common Law and Judicial Representation Common Law refers to those laws which have never been passed by Parliament but are nevertheless recognised as binding. The principles of common law are important as they include; the presumption of liberty The concept of natural justice Statute laws are more superior to common law and so if there is conflict between the two in a situation, statute law will have to prevail. However when statutes aren't clear judges may refer to common law principles By interpreting the meaning of statute law and continuing to develop the common law, judges make constitutional law. In this interpretation of statute law the courts have a key role in; Adjudicating between the state and the individuals Ensuring that governments don't exceed their lawful powers 4.Works of Authority Despite the many statutes and conventions which map out the operation of the British Constitution, there are some areas which have remained the subject of doubt and confusion. ...read more.

Conclusion

European Treaties When Britain joined the EU in 1973 we were subjected to constraints which are constitutional as they affect the rights of citizens and the jurisdiction of government. European legislation is initiated in the European Commission with which the UK parliament has no direct control over, and since the 1986 Single European Act, and the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty the use of QMV in the council of ministers has reduced the areas in which any member state can veto decisions. The various treaties governing the jurisdiction of the EU affect parliamentary sovereignty and the powers of the government as the EU law is now superior to British in many areas, e.g. agricultural and environmental policies In areas covered by the treaties the British parliament can't pass laws which contradict European Laws. Kate Bolger LVI5 Mrs Wilson ...read more.

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