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42 Cards in this Set

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What does a constitution usually set out?

1.basic framework of government


2. Rules how government operates


3. Fundamental rights of citizens (i.e. equity before the law and personal freedom)

What does the UKs constitution consist of?

A mix of documents, procedures, traditions, conventions, laws and institutions

Advantages of a written constitution over a unwritten one..

Clear and more certain


Political stability


Constitutions can refuse ordinary laws which are in conflict

Disadvantages of a written constitution over a unwritten one

Sometimes incomplete, unclear or out of date.


Practically impossible for all rules to be entrenched

Why does the uk not have a written constitution?

Due to historical development

How can the UKs constitution be described?

Unwritten


Flexible


Unitary


Monarchical


Having a informal desperation of powers

What act has sought to strengthen the separation of powers?

Constitutional reform act 2005

What does bicameralism mean?

That the legislation body has 2 chambers! (In the uk House of Commons and House of Lords)

What is the core constitutional doctrine in our constitution?

Doctrine of parliamentary supremacy

What is an important constitutional concept the UKs construction is said to be based on?

The Rule of law!! (dicey)

Name a recent constitutional case which referred to the rule of law being 'the ultimate controlling factor in which our constitution is based?'

R (Jackson) V HM Attorney General

What is Diceys first rule of law ?

Personal liberty! Only detained if there has been a clear breach of the law and insists of a due process of law (right to fair procedures)

What is Dicey's second meaning of law?

Equality before the law (no man is above the law)

What is Diceys third meaning?

That the courts can develop constitutional principles through case law

What 3 government functions should be kept separate?

Legisation (make laws)


Judicary


Executive (execute policy through administration)

What else does the doctrine of the separation of powers maintain?

That no personal should work in more than one branch at a time. Each body should


Check each other

Why is there no formal separation in the uk?

The queen is part of all three branches. The executive frequently makes law in the form of delegated legislation and headed by the prime minister and ministers and the judges role in making law through case law.

What was one of the reforms introduced by the constitutional reform act 2005

The act created the Supreme Court to replace House of Lords.

Who checks on parliament?

Informal checks as a bill passes through House of Commons and house of laws and royal assessment

Who is the executive accountable to?

Parliament. It also needs statutory powers and the courts can operate a check too

Can parliament check on the courts?

Yes due to parliamentary supremacy.

Example case on parliament checking the courts

Burmah Oil (parliament passed the War Damage Act 1965 with retrospective effect to deny entitlement to compo from lawful acts of the crown during war)

Name 2 examples of constitutional statues

European communities act 1972


Human rights act 1998

What is a convention?

A convention represents important rules of political behaviour which are necessary for the smooth running of the constitution. (Allen & Thomas)

Parliamentary supremacy means 2 things. What's the first?

That parliament can make laws of any kind


Eg including retrospective legislation as in Burmah oil

Parliamentary supremacy means 2 things. What's the first?

That parliament can make laws of any kind


Eg including retrospective legislation as in Burmah oil

What's the second?

Statute cannot be overridden by anybody outside parliament

Parliamentary supremacy means 2 things. What's the first?

That parliament can make laws of any kind


Eg including retrospective legislation as in Burmah oil

What's the second?

Statute cannot be overridden by anybody outside parliament

UK courts cannot override a statute but what can they do?

Issue a declaration of incompatibility under s4 of the HRA 1998

Parliamentary supremacy means 2 things. What's the first?

That parliament can make laws of any kind


Eg including retrospective legislation as in Burmah oil

What's the second?

Statute cannot be overridden by anybody outside parliament

UK courts cannot override a statute but what can they do?

Issue a declaration of incompatibility under s4 of the HRA 1998

Parliamentary supremacy and international law. What is the presumption that parliament does not intend to do?

Legisation contrary to international law and so are interpreted as far as possible not t conflict

What are two limitations to parliamentary supremacy?

It cannot bind its successors and the principle of implied repeal.

What is the doctrine of implied repeal?

A later statute which is inconsistent with an earlier statute repeals the first to the extent of the inconsistency

What case defined ordinary and constitutional statutes?

Thoburn v Sunderland City Council

What case defined ordinary and constitutional statutes?

Thoburn v Sunderland City Council

What two fold test did Laws LJ suggest for this?

1, it must condition the legal relationship between between citizen and state and


2, must change the scope of fundamental constitutional rights

Does devolution affect parliamentary supremacy?

No it can only legislate to the extent it has been given power to do so

What's an example of a non-legal on parlimentary supremacy?

Public opinion.

What is one of the most important limitations on parliamentary supremacy?

UKs membership to the EU