Why is there no formal UK constitution?
There are several theories about why the UK does not have a formal document such as a written constitution. Perhaps the most logical argument is the fact that Britain has been a stable country for such a long time and therefore has not had to deal with an uprising, revolt or internal war for many centuries.
Arguments for and against a bill of rights
There have been many times throughout the last century when certain political groups have called for a bill of rights for the UK. One particularly strong argument for this would be the symbolism invoked by having a bill of rights clearly showing that the citizens have rights enshrined in law. A common counter argument of this is that it is not worth the cost and political time of drafting such a bill just for symbolic purposes when all of the rights enshrined are already present in UK law.
One particular problem with implementing a bill of rights in the UK is that any bill would have to be in conjunction with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Human Rights Act is in itself a list of rights which are conferred on every citizen and in that sense this perhaps weakens the argument for a need for a bill of rights. It can also be argued that if any bill must be in line with the European Convention it will perhaps not go any further than the rights already provided for.
Plans to introduce a UK Bill of Rights
The issue of a proposed bill of rights has come to light in recent months with the Government’s decision earlier in the year to launch an independent commission to look into a proposed introduction of a bill of rights in the UK and examine how it would sit with human rights laws. A final report from the commission is due by the end of 2012.
Whether the UK should have a bill of rights is a subjective decision in which people may have a variety of different opinions. Indeed, when other countries view the UK democratic system it would be perhaps advantageous at least...