However reform of the House of Lords could be said to have not gone far enough, 92 hereditary peers still remain in the House of Lords, and the Liberal Democrats call for a wholly elected upper chamber, to make Parliament fully accountable. The House of Lords are also limited in the fact that they can only delay legislation for up to a year and therefore not able to check executive power as much as they should be able to. The Human Rights Act 1998 is another example of constitutional reform. The Human Rights Act adopted the European Convention of Human Rights and set it as UK statute law. This allows for citizens to be clearer on the rights and freedoms they possess.
But this wasn’t feasible, so they used a system of representation. These men were summoned by the king, not chosen by the people. 2. Thesis: Entrusting plena potestas or plena auctoritas to members of parliament (Tierney, 406) means that the highest power in the country lies with parliament, not with the king. Is this thesis true or false?
According to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, Parliament is the only body that can make law for the UK. No other body can overrule or change the laws which Parliament has made. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty however cannot be found in statute law, it is part of another source of the constitution, common law. The reason it is not part of statute law is that Parliament can pass, change, or repeal any law it likes and is not bound by laws of previous Parliaments. Therefore if parliamentary sovereignty was an Act of Parliament it would be possible for Parliament to repeal it and destroy the principle.
However, Parliament is sovereign and civil rights and liberties have been put suspended but only in the interests of law and order or national security. Unlike many other democracies, the government retains control over rights and freedoms of citizens. Democracy can lead to the abuse of power and there are fears that if those who govern are left to their own devices, they may claim substantial amounts of power and begin to abuse their position. By making governments accountable to the people, this can be prevented. Governments must submit themselves regularly to re-election and by guaranteeing that they are controlled by elected representatives, the people can feel safe from the corruption of power.
In the UK we do not currently have a codified constitution nor have we ever had one however recently there have been cases put forward arguing for one suggesting it would be better for the nation. A constitution is a set of fundamental principles and rules according to which a state is governed, a codified constitution then takes this a step further by entrenching these rules making it harder and generally impossible for them to be changed. I feel that the UK does not actually need a codified constitution. One argument for the introduction of a codified constitution is that liberals argue that it would have a better safeguarding of human rights. With an un-codified constitution it means that it is very easy for aspects of it to be changed.
Professor KC Wheare defines the constitution of a state as: “… the whole system of government of a country, the collection of rules which establish and regulate or govern the government.” The evolving nature of the UK constitution implies that it is somewhat straightforward for the government to alter the constitution and adapt it to ever changing times. The constitution of the UK is extremely distinct, as it is not set out in a specific document, which establishes the rules of the state, therefore it is often deemed uncodified. The fact that the full UK constitution cannot be found in one specific document, leads many to argue the flexibility and therefore, instability, of the UK constitution, as it is susceptible to change over time. In comparison, the constitution of the United States is codified and present in an easily obtainable document. In order to implement change in the US constitution, therefore, there is a much stricter protocol to follow.
In doing so, they formed the great country that became the United States of America. There are many ways that the Magna Carta and the U.S. Constitution are similar in the ways they lay out the government. One example of this is that the Magna Carta forced limitations on the King of England, and established a parliament form of government, to represent the people. This form of government split the lawmaking between an institution of individuals, and the King. This prevented the King from creating selfish laws as he pleased.
The UK has an unwritten constitution unlike the U.S.A. It is misleading to call the British constitution unwritten; a more precise form of classification would be un-codified. This means that the British constitution has no single document, which states principles and rules of a state. However, The British constitution clearly sets out how political power is allocated and where it is legally located. The British constitution is still visible and it defines composition and powers of the main offices and institutions of the state.
It exists to look at each statutory instrument in detail to make sure that it falls within the boundaries set by the Parent Act and to refer provisions requiring further consideration to both Houses of Parliament. The main reasons for referring a statutory instrument back to the Houses of Parliament are that it appears to have gone beyond or outside the powers given under the Parent Act, it has not been made according to the method stipulated in the Parent Act, unexpected use has been made of the delegated power, it is unclear or defective, it imposes tax or charge (only Parliament has the right to do this) or it is retrospective in its effect, and the parent/enabling Act did not allow for this. This is probably one of the more effective controls, as many statutory instruments are subject to some scrutiny. However, it is impossible for the Scrutiny Committee to review all the statutory instruments because over 3000 are created each year. Another control is the enabling Act or the parent Act.
Essay: Make out a Case against an Elected Second Chamber in the UK. The UK currently has a system of Parliament whereby there are two chambers who can pass or reject (or, in the House of Lords just delay) bills. The House of Commons is a fully elected chamber and it is made up of representatives from different areas in the United Kingdom. However, the House of Lords is made up of people who have earned the right of being a Lord through merit. They also have a number of hereditary peers (although there will no longer be any hereditary peers appointed.