British Constitution Essay

393 Words2 Pages
Should Britain have a written, codified constitution? The main arguments for a written and codified constitution: ~ Parliament is currently unrestrained: It can make or unmake any law. It cannot be checked by any other branch of the system Its heavy workload can mean poor laws are passed The Unitary system can mean the creation of laws that are inappropriate to regions of the UK ~ The independence of the Judiciary would be protected ~ Basic rights of citizens are identified and guaranteed ~ There will be less constitutional crises as there will not be confusion as to what is 'unconstitutional behaviour' ~ A large parliamentary majority means the domination of the legislature by the executive. An "elective dictatorship" ~ The first past the post system creates an "exaggerated mandate" for the largest party, which is unlikely to have over 50% of the votes (this has not happened since 1945) ~ Without a Bill of Rights, it is Parliament's duty to preserve liberties. However these can be removed at any time by Parliament (e.g. Internment, the Prevention of Terrorism Act). The main arguments against a written and codified constitution: ~ "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". The British constitution has served us well over the centuries, so why change the system now. After all, if it needs to change in future then it can continue to evolve. ~ The current system provides strong and effective government. There is accountability and supreme authority. ~ Judicial issues. A written constitution has to be relatively vague to allow it to evolve as society evolves. However this means it will be constantly open to judicial interpretation. This is a problem for a number of reasons: Judges are unelected but would be able to overrule an elected Parliament Judges are unaccountable and do not have to answer to Parliament or the public
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