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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Uks Constitution

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Submitted By Lesie
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A constitution is a body of fundamental principles or established models according to which a state or is acknowledged to be governed. The UK’s constitution is part-written and uncodified. There is evidence the UK’s constitution is strong and successful, however there is evidence to also suggest that the UK needs constitutional reform.
One huge advantage of the UK constitution is its ability to be flexible and change according to modern opinions or issues. An uncodified or unfixed constitution like the UK’s allows it to me able to keep updated with new social and political situations. It easier to create an Act of Parliament according to a new situation, than to amend a codified constitution. For example, in reaction to this idea of ‘new politics’ and the public’s desire to be able to influence the government between elections, lead to the introduction of referendums in 1997.
The UKs democracy has withstood the tale of time and is seen as a huge strength of the UK’s constitution. The UK’s constitution is an example of the UK’s custom and tradition linking generations and has been tested in history to prove that it works. The constitution has adapted and developed over time: it is a ‘living’ constitution due to the idea that it is able to grow. In despite of parliamentary sovereignty, there are a number of ways in which the democratic character of the UK is maintained and the power of the government scrutinized and reduced where necessary. For instance, the House of Lords and judges were reduced in number through Parliamentary Acts due to growing unrest about the influence of unelected official’s government. An uncodified constitution continues to establish representative democracy in the UK: policy making is done by elected ministers who act on behalf of the public and their interests. A codified constitution however would mean judicial tyranny; unelected and socially unrepresentative officials reflecting the interests and opinion of senior judges. But the House of Lords still exist and what little influence they do have in the government today is still not subject to public accountability.
The UK’s constitution ensures an effective government that cannot be effected by the judiciary and can make decisions in Parliament. This allows the government to make strong and decisive action. The best examples are of the Atlee governments in 1945-51 that was able to introduce the NHS and tackle social welfare problems after the war.
The UK’s constitution has a number of growing criticisms however which emphasis in some ways reasons as to why the constitution needs to be reformed. There can be a lot of confusion that surrounds certain constitutional rules because of the fact they are unwritten and not exactly fact. A codified constitution would mean that rules and their meanings are clear, so greater certainty about constitutional rules can be enforced.
The main criticism of the UK’s codified constitution is this concept of elective dictatorship. As a part of parliamentary sovereignty, when a government is elected they more or less can do whatever they want and therefore change the constitution for their wishes are and whenever it suits them. This creates ideas that such concentration of power in the government, can lead to one that is oppressive. A codified constitution would reduce government power down in size therefore a solution to elective dictatorship and parliamentary sovereignty as a fixed constitution would inhibit the government’s ability to reshape the constitution for its own wishes whenever they wanted.
A final criticism of the UK’s constitution is due to the weak protection of individual rights due to elective dictatorship as there is nothing in the UK’s constitution of be able to force the government to respect and protect the rights of individuals. This is due to elections are they tend to protect the collective interests of majorities rather than minorities. The fact that the UK’s constitution is unwritten means that the government does not have to have an entrenched bill of rights for individuals. A codified constitution would more securely protect individual liberty as rights would be clearly defined and therefore easier to enforce.
To conclude, there is a persuasive amount of evidence that suggests that the UK’s constitution is strong and has proof of arguable success for decades, however the extent as to which the UK’s constitution is unrepresentative and biased allowing the government too much power outweighs its strengths. The UK is a liberal democracy at this should be clear within its constitution. Elective dictatorship and the disrespect for individuals and minorities defies this.…...

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