There are two kinds of sources of the UK’s constitution; the first ones are legal sources, which include statutes (Acts of Parliament), the powers of the Crown (the royal prerogative), the law relating to the working of Parliament and judicial decisions; also there are some non-legal sources, which consist of constitutional conventions. The last one will be the subject of study in this essay. It is submitted that constitutional conventions in their present form are inconsistent and in need of reform, they should be codified immediately.
The notion of constitutional conventions appeared in 1883 in the book, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, of a famous British legal scientist A. V. Dicey. In this book Dicey wrote that the actions of politicians and political institutions are regulated by two parallel and complementary sets of rules: “The one set of rules are in the strictest sense "laws", since they are rules which are enforced by the courts… The other set of rules consist of conventions, understandings, habits, or practices that—though they may regulate the conduct of the several members of the sovereign power, the Ministry, or other officials—are not really laws, since they are not enforced by the courts. This portion of constitutional law may, for the sake of distinction, be termed the "conventions of the constitution", or constitutional morality.” Another definition was offered by Marshall and Moodie: “… rules of constitutional behavior which are considered to be binding by and upon those who operate the constitution but which are not enforced by the law courts… nor by the presiding officers in the Houses of Parliament.”
Now the complexity consists in determining what a rule is. According to H. Barnett a rule is ‘statement prescribing the conduct which is required in a given situation and which imposes an obligation on those who are regulated by the rule’. The idea of ‘obligation’ has paramount...