Tell me all about the UK Constitution?

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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
Hey guys I'm new to Politics as a subject and need some help!
I have a Politics exam tomorrow on Constitutions (AS level) particularly on the UK Constitution. I need as much info and help as I can get (if possible) because I really struggle with the subject.

Whats it made up of/how it works etc etc..

Thank you!
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Report 6 years ago
Gosh, where to start.

Basic principles - 'parliamentary sovereignty' i.e. that the final arbiter of what is law and what is the constitution stops with Parliament's will.

'Responsible government' i.e. that the Government is accountable for its actions to Parliament, and to the Commons in particular, as the elected chamber.

Parliament consists of three - Crown, Commons, and Lords. Historically initially the Crown was predominant, then later all three were equal in power, nowadays the Commons is predominant as the elected chamber. Bagehot described the monarchy as the 'dignified' portion of the State, as opposed to the 'efficient' portion, being the Commons and the Cabinet. The 'dignified' bit has a valuable, ceremonial role to play, but actual decisionmaking is done by the Commons and the Cabinet.

The Lords, the second chamber, has the role of detailed scrutiny of legislation, to catch material that the Commons overlooks. It is unelected, and the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 restrict its powers to delaying only. However, oftentimes both Houses come to terms, because either the Lords concedes to the elected Commons, or the Commons accepts and endorses what the Lords point out to them.

Also: devolution - constituent nations legislating for their own concerns. Unlike a federal state, where nations agree to pool sovereignty to create a sovereign, common government, devolution involves a central government dividing its power among subordinate entities. In other powers, the direction of power flow is different.

The UK Constitution is uncodified, i.e. it is not written down in one place but is made up of an array of varying sources.

That's it in a nutshell, I think.

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