Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough. Discuss. (40 marks) Watch

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Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough. Discuss. (40 marks)

I'm really stuck on what to put in. So fair i've only talked about The House of Lords Reform and that's only a couple of sentences. I don't understand the devolution part at all.

Please help. I find this topic quite hard, i hate learning about the constitution.
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Trixy.Sam
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“Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough” Discuss (40 marks)

After the Labour party’s strong victory in the 1997 general election, winning 179 seats, they have made moves and provisions towards constitutional reform. Indeed, the two prime ministers; Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have done much for reform over the years, as illustrated by devolution and the human rights act. Indeed, they made provision for reform in 4 key areas, modernisation, and greater protection of rights, democratisation and decentralisation. However, it can be argued that their reform has been limited, and much more can be done for constitutional reform.

Firstly, it is clear that the modernisation aspects of the reform have been severely limited. Indeed, this can be illustrated by the reform of the House of Lords. Over the past 10 years, only part 1 of the reform process has taken place. This has included the removal of over 600 hereditary peers to only 92. However, no reform for a partially or fully elected second chamber has taken place. Until this happens it is argued that the Lords is not democratically legitimate as all policy making institutions must have legitimacy. By merely appointing the members of the Lords means that whilst they may have expertise, they are not socially accountable. These include the likes of Alan Sugar and Sebastian Coe. Also, the Wright report, which includes provisions towards electing members of select committee chairs by secret ballot, and to end the Winterton rule on public bill committees is still stuck within the legislative process. Therefore, there is much that can be done towards constitutional reform.

However, the modernisation process has done much in recent years. This can be illustrated by the separation of powers by creating the Supreme Court. The removal of the 12 law lords to become Supreme Court justices means that the House of Lords are no longer the highest court of appeal. In addition, since 2005 there has been reform of the position of the position of the Chancellor. This once united the three branches of the state, yet it has now been separated. The Chancellor is now merely a member of the executive. Furthermore, there have been significant modernising reforms within the House of Commons in recent years. These have included the increase in use of Westminster hall for debates, the publication of bills two weeks in advance to increase scrutiny, and the change in prime ministers questions, from the once two 15 minute questions, to once half an hour slot. Therefore these reforms have strengthened the UK constitution.

In addition, there has been weak reform with the protection of rights. Indeed, the human rights act (2000) is merely semi-entrenched. This means that its provisions can be put aside by Parliament, which has been done through the Declaration of incompatibility. The government can ask Parliament to pass legislation which infringes with the human rights act, under cases of national security. This was the case with the Terrorism act (2001)- emergency legislation passed in two days which suspended the Habeas Corpus Act and could have someone imprisoned indefinitely. In addition, the freedom of information act (2000), was to allow for the government to become more open and transparent by allowing for citizens to see documents which affect them. However, the Justice Secretary can veto requests if they believe that it hinders with national security. This was the case with Jack Straw and the cabinet meetings over the Iraq War and Devolution. Therefore it is clear that more can be done for the protection of our rights, possibly by creating a Bill of Rights, which would entrench citizen’s rights clearer. It is clear that reform of the constitution has not gone far enough.

Furthermore, the democratisation aspects of the constitution can also be shown to be limited. Indeed, the Labour party promised to make provisions towards electoral reform. This has occurred in the devolved assemblies, which utilise proportional representation systems such as the additional member system- however, it has yet to occur in Parliament. This is because any governing party who is able to achieve a majority of the seats in the commons, do not want to change the system of first past the post of simple-plurality voting, as they do well under this. Also, aspects of popular sovereignty are limited, as referenda are not legally binding, and the Government can ignore their outcomes. Furthermore, under the Political Party, Elections, Referendum Act (2000), people can donate up to £5000 a year to a political party. This has led to scandals such as Cash for Questions, Honours and Influence. Therefore, much more can be done for constitutional reform.

However, there has been an increase in referenda as Tony Blair promised in his election manifesto. These include the referenda over the Manchester Congestion Charge in 2008, and the 2004 Referenda in the North-East were both affective in affecting the governing party views. In addition the increase in e-petitions has been effective. Indeed, the road pricing tax was dropped after 1 million people signed a petition against it. Finally, MPs have agreed on a referendum over electoral reform, from our current first past the post system to alternative vote. Therefore, much has been done towards constitutional reform, and it has been effective.

Finally the decentralisation aspects of constitutional reform have been limited. This is the case because the devolved assemblies, are given different powers in different regions, as chosen by Parliament. Also, there is a level of subsidiarity in the assemblies, as Parliament is still ultimately sovereign, it can repeal the devolution acts; Scotland Act 1998, Wales Act 1998. There is also concern with the power that devolved assemblies have over passing bills which do not affect their constituents. Indeed, this issue gave rise from the West Lothian Question, in which university fees was passed by 6 votes, and 46 of those that voted in favour were Scottish MPs, whose constituents would not be affected by the bill. Also, due to the mixture of personnel, party loyalty and usually large governing majorities, governing party’s can override Parliamentary mechanisms to pass bills. This can be illustrated by the recent digital economy bill. Therefore, it is clear that much more can be done for constitutional reform.

Therefore, it can be argued that the constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough. Much more can be done to renew the UK’s uncodified constitution, so we look to see what the “new politics” of the conservative and liberal democrat coalition can offer.
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milkytea
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(Original post by Trixy.Sam)
After the Labour party’s strong victory in the 1997 general election, winning 179 seats
A majority of 179 seats*, I presume. 179 actual seats would be a spectacular loss.

OP you could also talk about the freedom of information act, how this was watered down by the government, and how over 50% of requests for information under it are rejected. You should also be able to talk about Lords reform for more than 2 lines. Say that because the Lords remains unelected, reform hasn't gone far enough because in its present state it remains an outdated and undemocratic institution, or something along those lines.
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“Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough” Discuss (40 marks)

After the Labour party’s strong victory in the 1997 general election, winning 179 seats, they have made moves and provisions towards constitutional reform. Indeed, the two prime ministers; Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have done much for reform over the years, as illustrated by devolution and the human rights act. Indeed, they made provision for reform in 4 key areas, modernisation, and greater protection of rights, democratisation and decentralisation. However, it can be argued that their reform has been limited, and much more can be done for constitutional reform.

Firstly, it is clear that the modernisation aspects of the reform have been severely limited. Indeed, this can be illustrated by the reform of the House of Lords. Over the past 10 years, only part 1 of the reform process has taken place. This has included the removal of over 600 hereditary peers to only 92. However, no reform for a partially or fully elected second chamber has taken place. Until this happens it is argued that the Lords is not democratically legitimate as all policy making institutions must have legitimacy. By merely appointing the members of the Lords means that whilst they may have expertise, they are not socially accountable. These include the likes of Alan Sugar and Sebastian Coe. Also, the Wright report, which includes provisions towards electing members of select committee chairs by secret ballot, and to end the Winterton rule on public bill committees is still stuck within the legislative process. Therefore, there is much that can be done towards constitutional reform.

However, the modernisation process has done much in recent years. This can be illustrated by the separation of powers by creating the Supreme Court. The removal of the 12 law lords to become Supreme Court justices means that the House of Lords are no longer the highest court of appeal. In addition, since 2005 there has been reform of the position of the position of the Chancellor. This once united the three branches of the state, yet it has now been separated. The Chancellor is now merely a member of the executive. Furthermore, there have been significant modernising reforms within the House of Commons in recent years. These have included the increase in use of Westminster hall for debates, the publication of bills two weeks in advance to increase scrutiny, and the change in prime ministers questions, from the once two 15 minute questions, to once half an hour slot. Therefore these reforms have strengthened the UK constitution.

In addition, there has been weak reform with the protection of rights. Indeed, the human rights act (2000) is merely semi-entrenched. This means that its provisions can be put aside by Parliament, which has been done through the Declaration of incompatibility. The government can ask Parliament to pass legislation which infringes with the human rights act, under cases of national security. This was the case with the Terrorism act (2001)- emergency legislation passed in two days which suspended the Habeas Corpus Act and could have someone imprisoned indefinitely. In addition, the freedom of information act (2000), was to allow for the government to become more open and transparent by allowing for citizens to see documents which affect them. However, the Justice Secretary can veto requests if they believe that it hinders with national security. This was the case with Jack Straw and the cabinet meetings over the Iraq War and Devolution. Therefore it is clear that more can be done for the protection of our rights, possibly by creating a Bill of Rights, which would entrench citizen’s rights clearer. It is clear that reform of the constitution has not gone far enough.

Furthermore, the democratisation aspects of the constitution can also be shown to be limited. Indeed, the Labour party promised to make provisions towards electoral reform. This has occurred in the devolved assemblies, which utilise proportional representation systems such as the additional member system- however, it has yet to occur in Parliament. This is because any governing party who is able to achieve a majority of the seats in the commons, do not want to change the system of first past the post of simple-plurality voting, as they do well under this. Also, aspects of popular sovereignty are limited, as referenda are not legally binding, and the Government can ignore their outcomes. Furthermore, under the Political Party, Elections, Referendum Act (2000), people can donate up to £5000 a year to a political party. This has led to scandals such as Cash for Questions, Honours and Influence. Therefore, much more can be done for constitutional reform.

However, there has been an increase in referenda as Tony Blair promised in his election manifesto. These include the referenda over the Manchester Congestion Charge in 2008, and the 2004 Referenda in the North-East were both affective in affecting the governing party views. In addition the increase in e-petitions has been effective. Indeed, the road pricing tax was dropped after 1 million people signed a petition against it. Finally, MPs have agreed on a referendum over electoral reform, from our current first past the post system to alternative vote. Therefore, much has been done towards constitutional reform, and it has been effective.

Finally the decentralisation aspects of constitutional reform have been limited. This is the case because the devolved assemblies, are given different powers in different regions, as chosen by Parliament. Also, there is a level of subsidiarity in the assemblies, as Parliament is still ultimately sovereign, it can repeal the devolution acts; Scotland Act 1998, Wales Act 1998. There is also concern with the power that devolved assemblies have over passing bills which do not affect their constituents. Indeed, this issue gave rise from the West Lothian Question, in which university fees was passed by 6 votes, and 46 of those that voted in favour were Scottish MPs, whose constituents would not be affected by the bill. Also, due to the mixture of personnel, party loyalty and usually large governing majorities, governing party’s can override Parliamentary mechanisms to pass bills. This can be illustrated by the recent digital economy bill. Therefore, it is clear that much more can be done for constitutional reform.

Therefore, it can be argued that the constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough. Much more can be done to renew the UK’s uncodified constitution, so we look to see what the “new politics” of the conservative and liberal democrat coalition can offer.
OMG!!!! Thank you sooooooooo much, u have literally saved my life
I was so stuck on this question.
Thanks once again
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(Original post by Trixy.Sam)
“Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough” Discuss (40 marks)

After the Labour party’s strong victory in the 1997 general election, winning 179 seats, they have made moves and provisions towards constitutional reform. Indeed, the two prime ministers; Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have done much for reform over the years, as illustrated by devolution and the human rights act. Indeed, they made provision for reform in 4 key areas, modernisation, and greater protection of rights, democratisation and decentralisation. However, it can be argued that their reform has been limited, and much more can be done for constitutional reform.

Firstly, it is clear that the modernisation aspects of the reform have been severely limited. Indeed, this can be illustrated by the reform of the House of Lords. Over the past 10 years, only part 1 of the reform process has taken place. This has included the removal of over 600 hereditary peers to only 92. However, no reform for a partially or fully elected second chamber has taken place. Until this happens it is argued that the Lords is not democratically legitimate as all policy making institutions must have legitimacy. By merely appointing the members of the Lords means that whilst they may have expertise, they are not socially accountable. These include the likes of Alan Sugar and Sebastian Coe. Also, the Wright report, which includes provisions towards electing members of select committee chairs by secret ballot, and to end the Winterton rule on public bill committees is still stuck within the legislative process. Therefore, there is much that can be done towards constitutional reform.

However, the modernisation process has done much in recent years. This can be illustrated by the separation of powers by creating the Supreme Court. The removal of the 12 law lords to become Supreme Court justices means that the House of Lords are no longer the highest court of appeal. In addition, since 2005 there has been reform of the position of the position of the Chancellor. This once united the three branches of the state, yet it has now been separated. The Chancellor is now merely a member of the executive. Furthermore, there have been significant modernising reforms within the House of Commons in recent years. These have included the increase in use of Westminster hall for debates, the publication of bills two weeks in advance to increase scrutiny, and the change in prime ministers questions, from the once two 15 minute questions, to once half an hour slot. Therefore these reforms have strengthened the UK constitution.

In addition, there has been weak reform with the protection of rights. Indeed, the human rights act (2000) is merely semi-entrenched. This means that its provisions can be put aside by Parliament, which has been done through the Declaration of incompatibility. The government can ask Parliament to pass legislation which infringes with the human rights act, under cases of national security. This was the case with the Terrorism act (2001)- emergency legislation passed in two days which suspended the Habeas Corpus Act and could have someone imprisoned indefinitely. In addition, the freedom of information act (2000), was to allow for the government to become more open and transparent by allowing for citizens to see documents which affect them. However, the Justice Secretary can veto requests if they believe that it hinders with national security. This was the case with Jack Straw and the cabinet meetings over the Iraq War and Devolution. Therefore it is clear that more can be done for the protection of our rights, possibly by creating a Bill of Rights, which would entrench citizen’s rights clearer. It is clear that reform of the constitution has not gone far enough.

Furthermore, the democratisation aspects of the constitution can also be shown to be limited. Indeed, the Labour party promised to make provisions towards electoral reform. This has occurred in the devolved assemblies, which utilise proportional representation systems such as the additional member system- however, it has yet to occur in Parliament. This is because any governing party who is able to achieve a majority of the seats in the commons, do not want to change the system of first past the post of simple-plurality voting, as they do well under this. Also, aspects of popular sovereignty are limited, as referenda are not legally binding, and the Government can ignore their outcomes. Furthermore, under the Political Party, Elections, Referendum Act (2000), people can donate up to £5000 a year to a political party. This has led to scandals such as Cash for Questions, Honours and Influence. Therefore, much more can be done for constitutional reform.

However, there has been an increase in referenda as Tony Blair promised in his election manifesto. These include the referenda over the Manchester Congestion Charge in 2008, and the 2004 Referenda in the North-East were both affective in affecting the governing party views. In addition the increase in e-petitions has been effective. Indeed, the road pricing tax was dropped after 1 million people signed a petition against it. Finally, MPs have agreed on a referendum over electoral reform, from our current first past the post system to alternative vote. Therefore, much has been done towards constitutional reform, and it has been effective.

Finally the decentralisation aspects of constitutional reform have been limited. This is the case because the devolved assemblies, are given different powers in different regions, as chosen by Parliament. Also, there is a level of subsidiarity in the assemblies, as Parliament is still ultimately sovereign, it can repeal the devolution acts; Scotland Act 1998, Wales Act 1998. There is also concern with the power that devolved assemblies have over passing bills which do not affect their constituents. Indeed, this issue gave rise from the West Lothian Question, in which university fees was passed by 6 votes, and 46 of those that voted in favour were Scottish MPs, whose constituents would not be affected by the bill. Also, due to the mixture of personnel, party loyalty and usually large governing majorities, governing party’s can override Parliamentary mechanisms to pass bills. This can be illustrated by the recent digital economy bill. Therefore, it is clear that much more can be done for constitutional reform.

Therefore, it can be argued that the constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough. Much more can be done to renew the UK’s uncodified constitution, so we look to see what the “new politics” of the conservative and liberal democrat coalition can offer.
What grade did u get for this????
Is this your own work??????
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Trixy.Sam
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What grade did u get for this????
Is this your own work??????
I think i got 24/25 for it (from last year!) And yes it is my own work
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Devolution, Human Rights Act and House of Lords Reform
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