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Tednol
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#1
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Should we sign up to it? Discuss.
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miss perfect
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(Original post by Tednol)
Should we sign up to it? Discuss.
is this an essay question you need help with?
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MattG
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(Original post by Tednol)
Should we sign up to it? Discuss.
its gone suspiciously quiet on the constitution front, since they failed to sign it, we should if there is a fair voting system/representation within it, ie not just by population or economy's
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wizard
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No you shouldn't.
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pkonline
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Having a constitution would be great. In just over 50 years European nations have gone from being at war with each other to now intergrating and working together .
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Howard
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(Original post by pkonline)
Having a constitution would be great. In just over 50 years European nations have gone from being at war with each other to now intergrating and working together .
The problem is that nobody really knows what the EU constitution contains. Have you seen it? Much less, have you read it? I understand it runs to about 10,000 pages!

Why couldn't the EU come up with a sensible constitution that is actually understandable and might mean something to it's citizens?

They could have modelled it on the US constitution. What a remarkable document it really is!! The operating instructions for a nation of 300 people containing fewer words than the owner's manual of a typical mid-sized saloon!
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pal_sch
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(Original post by Howard)
They could have modelled it on the US constitution. What a remarkable document it really is!! The operating instructions for a nation of 300 people containing fewer words than the owner's manual of a typical mid-sized saloon!
That works because it is constantly amended. The EU is trying a one off. The US constitution has lasted since the war of indipendance by constantly changing. Changing a multinational constitution would be far harder.
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jammyd
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(Original post by Tednol)
Should we sign up to it? Discuss.
They haven't decided on it yet.
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Howard
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(Original post by pal_sch)
That works because it is constantly amended. The EU is trying a one off. The US constitution has lasted since the war of indipendance by constantly changing. Changing a multinational constitution would be far harder.
I totally disagree. The US constitution has not been constantly ammended and is notoriously difficult to change.

As a matter of fact the changeability of the US constitution is a subject of some academic debate. There is one school of thought that steadfastly believe that it's original architects meant for it to be regularly revisited to keep up with changes in society.

That isn't what has happened, as evidenced by the Supreme Court's emminent role in trying to interpret the validity of legislation in the light of the existing document.

A "one off" constitutional document, if indeed that is the idea behind the EU constitutiuon, is plain daft. Anything that runs to 10000 pages is surely more likely to be legislation in it's own right rather than a constitutional framework from which legislation can be born.
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Baby_Angelz
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Hehe.. Sounds like a Public Law or English Legal System essay to me
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Baby_Angelz
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(Original post by Howard)
I totally disagree. The US constitution has not been constantly ammended and is notoriously difficult to change.
True.. The US constitution requires 2/3 congress & 3/4 state legislature to amend the law. The procedure is too cumbersome hence only 27 had been accepted in 200 years.

However, having an entrenched constitution will mean that the constitution will become rigid. Take for example the case of Burmah Oil v Lord Advocate in 1965, where Bristish Army destroyed the oil field in Burmah having afraid that the Germans or the Japs might use the oil supply against them in the war. After the war ended, the owner of Burmah Oil (several influential business man in UK) sued the government for compensation.

In the above case, if the constitution is like that of the US, entrenched, then probably the government will not be able to enact the War Damage Act 1965 and apply it retrospectively to overrule that of the House of Lords' decisions and will end up having to dish out loads and loads of taxpayers' money to pay Burmah Oil.

Of course, there's several more examples you can find on the net i believe. But end to end, there's no right or wrong. The best solution is still to strike a balance between that of having certainty (US system) and flexibility (UK) at the same time.

P.S. Btw, The Institute of Public Policy Research has already produced a Draft Constitution approved by many political figureheads which could possibly formed the skeleton of the new written constitution... it's just waiting to be approved hehe... but i wonder when...
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Howard
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(Original post by Baby_Angelz)
True.. The US constitution requires 2/3 congress & 3/4 state legislature to amend the law. The procedure is too cumbersome hence only 27 had been accepted in 200 years.

However, having an entrenched constitution will mean that the constitution will become rigid. Take for example the case of Burmah Oil v Lord Advocate in 1965, where Bristish Army destroyed the oil field in Burmah having afraid that the Germans or the Japs might use the oil supply against them in the war. After the war ended, the owner of Burmah Oil (several influential business man in UK) sued the government for compensation.

In the above case, if the constitution is like that of the US, entrenched, then probably the government will not be able to enact the War Damage Act 1965 and apply it retrospectively to overrule that of the House of Lords' decisions and will end up having to dish out loads and loads of taxpayers' money to pay Burmah Oil.

Of course, there's several more examples you can find on the net i believe. But end to end, there's no right or wrong. The best solution is still to strike a balance between that of having certainty (US system) and flexibility (UK) at the same time.

P.S. Btw, The Institute of Public Policy Research has already produced a Draft Constitution approved by many political figureheads which could possibly formed the skeleton of the new written constitution... it's just waiting to be approved hehe... but i wonder when...
Yes, I'm aware of this case and the passing of retrospective legislation to overcome it.

I don't see how having a written constitution might prevent retroactive legislation, unless it expressly prohibited such a thing.
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Tednol
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(Original post by miss perfect)
is this an essay question you need help with?

Nope, just a general question I wanted to put to the board.
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Tednol
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#14
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(Original post by pal_sch)
That works because it is constantly amended. The EU is trying a one off. The US constitution has lasted since the war of indipendance by constantly changing. Changing a multinational constitution would be far harder.
The US Constitution has had only 27 ammendments since it was first signed. Changing the Constitution requires super-majorities in both houses.

However to some extent I agree with you about the flexibility of the constitution, but this is mainly due to people's interpretation of certain points as time has moved on.
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Baby_Angelz
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(Original post by Howard)
I don't see how having a written constitution might prevent retroactive legislation, unless it expressly prohibited such a thing.
The US Constitution is modelled after French Juror, Baron Montesquieu's doctrine of the Separation of Powers in De l'Esprit des Lois. By saying the US Constitution, I refer to an entrenched constitution, which greatly decreases the sovereignity of the parliament. There will be a clear demarkation of powers between the 3 organs of state and the judiciary is able to effectively keep the government in check.

However, in the 1965 case, it demonstrates clearly the subordination of the judiciary to parliamentary supremacy and the limits thereby imposed on the judges' capacity to uphold rights.

Hence, it is well established that in UK's case, the sovereign parliament can overturn any court decision by way of legislation unlike that of US where the congress does not enjoy the parliament supremacy as that of their UK Counterparts.
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Howard
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(Original post by Baby_Angelz)
The US Constitution is modelled after French Juror, Baron Montesquieu's doctrine of the Separation of Powers in De l'Esprit des Lois. By saying the US Constitution, I refer to an entrenched constitution, which greatly decreases the sovereignity of the parliament. There will be a clear demarkation of powers between the 3 organs of state and the judiciary is able to effectively keep the government in check.

However, in the 1965 case, it demonstrates clearly the subordination of the judiciary to parliamentary supremacy and the limits thereby imposed on the judges' capacity to uphold rights.

Hence, it is well established that in UK's case, the sovereign parliament can overturn any court decision by way of legislation unlike that of US where the congress does not enjoy the parliament supremacy as that of their UK Counterparts.
OK. See what you're getting at now. Fair dinkum.
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