Uk Uncodified Constitution

1013 Words 4 Pages
Of the 193 countries that are members of the United Nations, very few have what is commonly referred to as an uncodified or an unwritten constitution. Of those countries, even fewer are considered to be democracies. The United Kingdom is one of those nations that falls under this category; however, unlike most other democracies that have come into effect through a revolution or a change in regime that in turn instils a new legal system from scratch, the United Kingdom’s ‘uncodified’ legal system has evolved over time to fit the circumstances and has never been through a complete remodelling. Although there are many documents that make up this legal system, academics have been debating whether or not the UK actually has a constitution. This …show more content…
F.F. Ridley (1988) who believes that Britain does not have a constitution at all because it does not fall under what he describes as the four main elements of any constitution defined those elements as firstly that a constitution creates a system of government and thus it exists before the existence of the government in itself, the second is that it is made by an authority even superior to the government or what he referred to as the ‘constituent’ or in the case of democracies the people, thirdly that it is a superior law because it gives the authority for the legislature to apply laws, and finally that it is entrenched in the sense that changing it requires the approval of the constituent. Ridley goes on to say that the British constitution does not exist because it does not meet the conditions set above in that a constituent did not directly have a say in the texts that supposedly make up the constitution that in themselves came after a government was …show more content…
Francis Bennion (2006) believes that canceling the position of Lord Chancellor is ‘undemocratic’ because it broke the judicial branch of power from the legislative or the House of Lords who in themselves cannot pass an Act without the consent of the elected House of Commons. Bennion goes on to argue that the elimination of the position of Lord Chancellor was done because of the false belief that Doctrine of the Separation of Power is a text that must be followed when in fact all the doctrine seeks to do besides maintain a fair separation of powers is to promote Parliamentary Sovereignty by giving only the elected power the right to make laws. This in itself is belittled by the UK joining the EU. By joining the EU, the UK has in effect forced itself to comply with European laws that were not made by the original constituent or those elected on their behalf. For instance, the R v. Secretary of State for Transport ex parte Factortame Ltd and others was a case that showed European law’s supremacy over UK law. A Spanish fishing company was, under UK law, not allowed to fish in UK waters, under European law, however, Factortame could fish on UK waters. The European Courts of Justice struck down and Act of parliament and declared it legal for Factortame to fish on UK waters thus undermining Parliamentary Sovereignty.(Thomas Cooper Law,

Related Documents