The Advantages and Disadvantages of an Unwritten Constitution in the Uk

11 November 2016

The UK has an unwritten constitution unlike the U. S. A. Instead Britain’s laws, policies and codes are developed through statutes, common law, convention and more recently E. U law. 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. Fundamentally it ‘regulates the relationships between the state and the citizen. ‘ Bill Coxhall, 1998). Britain can be distinguished between those countries which incorporate their major constitutional rules into a single document. Britain is one of few countries which do not have a codified constitution.

Unwritten constitution is the one where various elements maybe written down but there is no one single document which outlines the constitution of the state. Britain is one of the few countries that has an unwritten constitution. The UK has an unwritten constitution unlike the U. S. A. Instead Britain’s laws, policies and codes are developed through statutes, common law, convention and more recently E. U law. 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. ADVANTAGES: An unwritten constitution based on conventions has the advantage of being extremely adaptable or flexible. Since it is unwritten, it can be changed easily to deal with new situations.

All that is necessary for the practises to be changed is for Parliament to agree that change is necessary. Old constitutional practises do not become ‘millstones’ that make it difficult to deal with changed circumstances. There is an entrenchment, but one that given democratic consensus may be more easily modified than as a written constitution. So long as democratic processes are in place and Parliament and the Judiciary act as elected guardians, then in many ways the British Constitution appears more fitted to reflect a changing world and changing circumstances.

Unwritten Constitution changes to reflect the times in which we live. Β It carries risks. If a constitution is to place limits on government or to set out the parameters within which governments must operate, then the fact that it can be adapted by government whim can be problematic. Written constitutions can become set in stone. What was appropriate in the past may become anachronistic, outmoded and inappropriate today; but the mere fact of being written into a formal constitution may hinder or prevent a timely or rational change.

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