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    (Original post by Forum User)
    If a constitutional convention is not legally binding then wouldn't the result that there are very very few cases on conventions immediately follow? Or put another way, if some rule can be litigated then it is not merely a convention. So a case is only likely to appear if there is doubt about the status of the rule as convention. I can only think of one case off hand where conventions were discussed heavily - Attorney General v Jonathan Cape (which you will surely have come across?)
    Yes that's what I thought as well. I can give examples of conventions but there aren't many cases. It's just that it was specified that we should use authority to back up our points and it's hard to use authority if there are few cases. I will check out the case you've mentioned

    I have pasted my plan for the essay below please feel free to comment on it.


    My plan for answering the essay so far is:
    1. State that I agree that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions or whether to change them on a whim and that this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    2. Define constitution

    3. Define constitutional conventions

    4. Say that the fact that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions is shown by the two conventions of collective and ministerial responsibility and explain situations where those two conventions have been set aside/not followed.

    5.Then give examples of conventions that haven't been breached and explain that it would be acceptable to breach them in a democratic society.

    6.Then give examples of conventions that the govt has changed on a whim and explain how this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    7. Then give examples of conventions that the govt has not changed on a whim e.g they were changed over a period of time. I could give the example of the convention that the general election should take place every 5 years which has been replaced by the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 and can explain that the convention was not changed on a whim and that the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 was debated for months before being given royal assent.

    8. Academic commentary which supports my view that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions or whether to change them on a whim and that this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    9. Academic commentary which opposes my view that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions or whether to change them on a whim and that this is acceptable in a democratic society.
    10. Compare and contrast the academic views.

    The end.
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    (Original post by Knalchemist)
    If you want high marks you have to read more than just recommended text books. Read some academic journals, or find some text books that aren't 'recommended' text books. That way you'll get idea's from more sources and can show you know how to research.

    I don't think there are many cases, but more AoP's.
    Yes I have managed to give the example of one AoP so far- the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011.

    I have created an essay plan and have pasted it below. I would really appreciate it if you could comment on it.

    My plan for answering the essay so far is:

    1. State that I agree that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions or whether to change them on a whim and that this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    2. Define constitution

    3. Define constitutional conventions

    4. Say that the fact that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions is shown by the two conventions of collective and ministerial responsibility and explain situations where those two conventions have been set aside/not followed.

    5.Then give examples of conventions that haven't been breached and explain that it would be acceptable to breach them in a democratic society.

    6.Then give examples of conventions that the govt has changed on a whim and explain how this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    7. Then give examples of conventions that the govt has not changed on a whim e.g they were changed over a period of time. I could give the example of the convention that the general election should take place every 5 years which has been replaced by the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 and can explain that the convention was not changed on a whim and that the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 was debated for months before being given royal assent.

    8. Academic commentary which supports my view that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions or whether to change them on a whim and that this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    9. Academic commentary which opposes my view that the govt can choose whether to adhere to conventions or whether to change them on a whim and that this is acceptable in a democratic society.

    10. Compare and contrast the academic views.

    The end.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    That has a lot more structure to it
    Also I wanted to add that my friend gave me a points of answer which basically is a list of points that she thinks should be included in my answer. I am not sure whether these points are relevant to the question or not. I have pasted the points of answer below (the bold bit).

    The question is basically saying that our constitution is flexible and that it's not acceptable in democratic society so you need to agree or disagree with whether our constitution is flexible.

    You should mention people like Vernon Bogdanor and Dicey, and cases like thoburn and factortame, and read the journals from our first public seminar they should help. Mention parliamentary soveriegnty and constitutional reforms since 1997 like the devolution settlements.


    Definitions of a constitution – Ridley and other commentators should be compared and offered as different approaches to definition – we were looking for an awareness that people differ in what they mean when they say “constitution” – You may include a brief comparison between what we have and what other countries have in terms of a coherent document, just to give some context and perspective to the arguments. This would also indicate that they had grasped the main focus of the question which is to do with the flexible nature of our constitution;


    Context – where do our constitutional rules come from if we do not have a coherent document? –you should show awareness of a range of sources – statute, common law, conventions, codes etc and the essential difference between them in terms of enforceability and certainty;


    Description of the change in law – the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 – they should have shown an awareness of what the Act has done, the nature of the change and how that change was brought about;


    Any other examples of laws being passed that change constitutional rules that have been in place for hundreds of years? CRA 2005 re Lord Chancellor for example. Other examples include the Parliament Act 1911.


    A critical discussion of whether the ability to change the constitution in this way is a good thing or a bad thing. What are the pros and cons? Inherent dangers? The good students will have not merely recited advantages and disadvantages but will have discussed and talked around each point they made, explaining why it is good or bad and what it means in reality. They should have taken one side of the argument or the other so we were looking for them to say it is either good to have such flexibility or bad, only addressing the counter arguments in order to refute them.


    General conclusion should identify that the Government acted lawfully but should question whether this is an ideal situation, to be able to have constitutional changes made in this manner and conclude whether they agree or disagree with the statement in the question.
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    That looks like a very good way about the drawbacks of flexible constitutions generally but the question you have seems to intend you to focus more specifically on conventions - and some of those points are only tangentially related to conventions.

    It doesn't really look like a 'friend's list of points', though. It looks much more like a list from the examiners of what they expected to be included... ?
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    That looks like a very good way about the drawbacks of flexible constitutions generally but the question you have seems to intend you to focus more specifically on conventions - and some of those points are only tangentially related to conventions.

    It doesn't really look like a 'friend's list of points', though. It looks much more like a list from the examiners of what they expected to be included... ?
    It does indeed. I have to say as an examiner were I to come across this thread I would treat any essays submitted with extreme suspicion.
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    (Original post by Norton1)
    It does indeed. I have to say as an examiner were I to come across this thread I would treat any essays submitted with extreme suspicion.
    No, its a point of answers which was given by the university to us for our first essay but I said that it was a friend's point of answers because a friend sent it to me, and she wrote the first paragraph. Sorry for any confusion caused.

    The essay which I posted was similar to a previous essay we had done so I thought the points of answer we had been given for the first essay may be relevant. Again, the points of answers was freely given to us by the uni.

    Maybe I could have made myself clearer.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    That looks like a very good way about the drawbacks of flexible constitutions generally but the question you have seems to intend you to focus more specifically on conventions - and some of those points are only tangentially related to conventions.

    It doesn't really look like a 'friend's list of points', though. It looks much more like a list from the examiners of what they expected to be included... ?


    Yeah I said it was a friend's list of points because a friend sent it to me and wrote the first paragraph. But it was actually the uni who gave it to us all. Maybe I could have expressed myself clearer. Sorry for any confusion.

    How do you suggest that I focus more specifically on conventions?
 
 
 
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