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‘the Advantages of a Codified Constitution Now Outweigh Its Disadvantages’. Discuss

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‘The advantages of a codified constitution now outweigh its disadvantages’. Discuss

There are various advantages to having a codified constitution, especially in the modern climate of security fears that could have on the citizens’ civil liberties. However there are also several advantages to an uncodified constitution, for example its flexibility. When considering codification of the constitution, the following must be considered.

A codified constitution would protect the rights of the citizen against the state. At the moment there is the Human Rights Act of 1998 which, in theory, does this already. But as Parliament is sovereign, in can essentially find a way around, or even repeal, this act thus making it unfit for purpose. In 2004 nine men, accused of terrorism, were held without charge (a violation of The Human Rights Act), the men took this case to the House of Lords where it was deemed to be unlawful. This was quickly followed by the introduction of the Anti Terror Act in 2005, which then made it legal for suspected (without significant evidence) terrorists to be held for up to 28 days. This act, for all intents and purposes, superseded the Human Rights Act. So what this says is that an uncodified constitution, where Parliament is sovereign, is open to abuse by the Government therefore making the act useless as it does not do what it was designed for and is therefore not fit for purpose. Whereas if there was a Human Rights Act entrenched, as part of a codified constitution where that constitution is sovereign, Parliament would not be able to force citizens into surrendering their civil liberties and therefore the rights of the citizen would be protected by law. This, however, would mean that in a time of a real national security, it may be harder for Government to act swiftly and prevent potential disastrous consequences.

A codified constitution…...

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