Should the Constitution of the UK remain uncodified?

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Should the constitution of the UK remain uncodified?


In the UK, we currently have an uncodified constitution. This means that it is not written down in full, and is implemented in a few ways: statute law, common law, conventions, works of constitutional authority and the European law and treaties. This differs from the USA, where they have a codified constitution, which contains all the laws that govern the states.

One reason it is argued the current constitution should remain is that by being unwritten it is flexible. It can adapt to changes in society, and in the fast moving, currently volatile political climate, this is vital. The constitution can be changed very easily – it only takes a policy to be passed by Parliament. An example of when this has been beneficial is when Brown introduced a convention in 2007 that stated that the UK would never declare war without the decision first being passed through Parliament. This was as a result of the second Iraq war, and just recently, this convention has come into play. When Cameron was deciding whether or not to send airstrikes into Iran, it was passed through Parliament first (For: 524, Against: 43).

However, campaigners for a codified constitution would argue that it would stop all uncertainty – it would be the be all and end all, as with our current set up, there is room for ambiguity, whereas if there were a single document, then it would reduce the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s constitution.

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Some also argue that a codified constitution would be too rigid, as it would be insanely difficult to alter it, as is the case with the US’s constitution. This means the UK would be defined and ruled by the old, outdated views of the past, instead of where it is now.

Another reason the UK should keep its constitution uncodified is that if it were codified, the public would be exposed to judicial tyranny. This is because the judiciary branch of the government would be open to interpret the constitution however they wanted, which means that we would be giving ...

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