Uk Constitution Essay

1166 WordsDec 22, 20125 Pages
THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION: IS IT FIT FOR PURPOSE? Over the past few weeks, Dr Ashcroft’s AS Government and Politics group have been studying the British Constitution. In particular, we have been investigating what is a constitution? The key characteristics of the British Constitution; the sources of the UK constitution; the UK Constitution in flux: constitutional change, theory and practice; and assessing the constitutional changes that have taken place since 1997. To complete this part of the unit, the girls have participated in a research activity where they have been divided into two teams and have researched the question - The British Constitution: is it fit for purpose? Here are their thoughts. Introduction The British Constitution is the oldest constitution in the world, dating back to the aftermath of the Norman Conquest. It is in many ways unique to the island of Britain. It is even very different to the constitutions of countries that the British would consider to be very similar to. Unlike the constitution of the USA for example, the British Constitution is not codified in a single document. Nor did it arise as a response to one specific event, whereas the attainment of independence in the USA was the backdrop to their constitution in 1787. The British Constitution is an amalgamation of many years of tradition, customs, convention, precedents and Acts of parliament. It has evolved flexibly over several centuries and responded to many reforms and challenges. These include the extension of the franchise, Scottish and Welsh devolution and the ongoing integration of the UK into the European Union. Some see this constitutional evolution based on practical experience as a great asset and a shelter which has protected Britain from the upheavals and revolutions experienced by our continental neighbours. It allowed the British to progress slowly and flexibly rather

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