DEBATE: Does the UK need a codified constitution, and if so what should it look like? Watch

Lord Vitiate
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#21
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#21
It is an emphatic no.
Last edited by Lord Vitiate; 1 month ago
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BlueIndigoViolet
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#22
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#22
Nope
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Joleee
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how would a written constitution work in terms of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule that parliament cannot bind itself and its successors?
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Abdullahkhan1234
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#24
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(Original post by Joleee)
how would a written constitution work in terms of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule that parliament cannot bind itself and its successors?
It should set out clearly in an entrenched form the boundaries of parliamentary power, this would clearly define parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of parliament not binding its successor could also be codified meaning any conflicting decision may have to be looked at by the supreme court.
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Joleee
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(Original post by Abdullahkhan1234)
It should set out clearly in an entrenched form the boundaries of parliamentary power, this would clearly define parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of parliament not binding its successor could also be codified meaning any conflicting decision may have to be looked at by the supreme court.
okay but what i was thinking is the point of a written constitution is that it's hard to change. this conflicts with parliamentary sovereignty because parliament may make or unmake any law whatsoever.

if this is true, that parliament can undo any law, then a written constitution is essentially useless or goes against the already existing UK constitution.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Joleee)
how would a written constitution work in terms of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule that parliament cannot bind itself and its successors?
Presumably that rule would have to go, as parliament would be bound by the constitution.
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Abdullahkhan1234
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(Original post by Joleee)
okay but what i was thinking is the point of a written constitution is that it's hard to change. this conflicts with parliamentary sovereignty because parliament may make or unmake any law whatsoever.

if this is true, that parliament can undo any law, then a written constitution is essentially useless or goes against the already existing UK constitution.
I don't believe that they conflict at all, because all a written constitution would do is clearly define those powers and allow for checks and balances on parliament. Yes, it may not be as sovereign as before but it would mean it is necessarily checked to prevent any abuses or disputes about parliaments power. As in the US constitution, an amendment can be changed with a supermajority, perhaps a similar principle could be adopted in the UK constitution to allow Parliament to overturn a previous law or ruling provided it has a supermajority.
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Aph
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#28
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#28
(Original post by Gundabad(good))
We don't need a constitution like those other countries then. And anyway we need to keep what makes us unique in the world and carry on with a political tradition that the UK has had for centuries.
What political traditions has the UK had for centuries? I’m not aware of any.
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Aph
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#29
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#29
(Original post by Joleee)
how would a written constitution work in terms of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule that parliament cannot bind itself and its successors?
My understanding is that parliament probably couldn’t enforce it by itself. It would either need to be done by a referendum or parliament would need to find another method to entrench it.
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Joleee
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(Original post by Abdullahkhan1234)
I don't believe that they conflict at all, because all a written constitution would do is clearly define those powers and allow for checks and balances on parliament. Yes, it may not be as sovereign as before but it would mean it is necessarily checked to prevent any abuses or disputes about parliaments power. As in the US constitution, an amendment can be changed with a supermajority, perhaps a similar principle could be adopted in the UK constitution to allow Parliament to overturn a previous law or ruling provided it has a supermajority.
'not as sovereign' means not sovereign. what you're saying is scrap parliamentary sovereignty(?).

the purpose of a supermajority vote is to make sure future lawmakers can't change/undo laws - see the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as example. a supermajority, then, would be unconstitutional in the UK; we could not have both at the same time.

we have checks and balances, most obvious in judicial review and in recent cases like Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and Cherry/Miller (No 2).
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Abdullahkhan1234
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(Original post by Joleee)
'not as sovereign' means not sovereign. what you're saying is scrap parliamentary sovereignty(?).

the purpose of a supermajority vote is to make sure future lawmakers can't change/undo laws - see the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as example. a supermajority, then, would be unconstitutional in the UK; we could not have both at the same time.

we have checks and balances, most obvious in judicial review and in recent cases like Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and Cherry/Miller (No 2).
Yes it seems i wasn't clear before, but in a codified constitution it does very much seem that parliamentary sovereignty would have to be scrapped. in my opinion i see this as a positive as checks and balances on the legislature is becoming increasingly necessary. We do have judicial review, but it is nowhere near as powerful as the one in the US.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Abdullahkhan1234)
Yes it seems i wasn't clear before, but in a codified constitution it does very much seem that parliamentary sovereignty would have to be scrapped. in my opinion i see this as a positive as checks and balances on the legislature is becoming increasingly necessary. We do have judicial review, but it is nowhere near as powerful as the one in the US.
Why do you see it as increasingly nessesary?
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Abdullahkhan1234
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#33
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Why do you see it as increasingly nessesary?
Well lets use the example of now, with a tory government with a strong majority they can do almost as they please. It happened with Tony Blairs monstrous majority war on Iraq was waged with minimal checks on the government even though many Labour MPs rebelled the majority was so significant that their rebellion was ignorable.
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Joleee
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#34
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#34
(Original post by Abdullahkhan1234)
We do have judicial review, but it is nowhere near as powerful as the one in the US.
i would disagree with you there as judicial review has effectively delayed the biggest constitutional change in the last few years, namely the decision to leave the European Union.

i will get back to you on the benefits of perpetual parliamentary sovereignty as i have to go to work but would be interested to know why in your opinion this is bad for Britain.
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