The Benefits of an Uncodified UK Constitution

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Explain the term entrenched provisions

The extract defines entrenched provision as a codified constitution of establishing formal structures, entrenched means that a constitution is difficult to change. An example of this is the USA’s constitution with 27 amendments. Issues such as the right to bear arms are controversial as it is extremely hard to change their entrenched constitution. The UK has an unentrenched constitution which allows an act of parliament to change what the uncodified constitution says. An example of this is the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 which amended the UK’s constitution directly.

Identify and explain two sources of the British constitution

The extract says that there are a “number of sources” to the UK constitution thus making it an uncodified constitution (it is not all written on one single document).

One source of the British constitution is statute law. This means that acts of parliament allow for the constitution to be amended. The prime example of this is the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005. This also means the parliament is sovereign, which means no one is above the law (everybody in society has to obey the law). This allows for legislation to be passed quickly and easily unlike the USA in where legislation is hard to pass due to their codified constitution (it is written in one document).

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Another source of the British constitution is works of authority. This is academic literature that is influential on British politics. They then become a part of the uncodified constitution. AV Dicey and William Bagehot are prime examples for works of authority. Although the constitution is not written down in one single document, works of authority allow for an insight into certain parts of the constitution dating back to the Magna Carta 1215. The USA has a codified constitution in which their entire constitution is written in one document.

The case for Britain remaining uncodified is strong, do you agree? ...

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