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05/09/2015

SalientFeaturesofBritishConstitution|ReviewingBySammiya

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January9,2013

SalientFeaturesofBritishConstitution
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Constitution:
Aconstitutionisabodyofrulesorlawscominginvariedshapes,sizesandformats;determining
theorganizationofGovernmentandthebasicprinciplesonwhichitspowersareexercised.
LordBrycestates:
Theconstitutionofastateoranationconsistsofthoseofitsrulesorlawswhichthedeterminetheformof
itsgovernmentandrespectiverightsanddutiesofittowardsthecitizensandofcitizenstowards
Government.
MotherofalltheConstitution:
Britishconstitutionisaninspirationtomostoftheconstitutionoftheworld.Itistheoldest
constitutionoftheworld,thatiswhyitisrightlytermedasMotherofallConstitutions.
Organic&EvolutionaryGrowth:
BritishConstitutionistheresultofmorethanfifteencenturiesanditisstillgrowing.Itisofan
evolutionarygrowth.Itwouldbeveryprecisetocallitachildofwisdomandchance.Ithas
growngraduallyandnofixedtimeorafixednumberofpeoplecreatedit.
Noncodified:
Thisisthemostimportantandmostdistinguishingfeatureofit.ItisbasedonConventionsand
CustomsthathavebeenprevailingfromalongtimeinUK.Suchunwrittensourcesformthe
majorpartoftheconstitution.
TherearemanyActs,Treatieswhichareinwrittenformandtheymakeitpartlywrittenandeven
thenNoncodified.Thesewerealsograduallyaddedandadopted.Thefirstwrittenpiecebeing
MagnaCarta1215,BillofRights1689,ParliamentaryActsof1911&1949andsomany
others.
DifferenceBetweenTheory&Appearance:
ThisisanothersignificantfeatureofBritishConstitution.TheorystatesthatnoLawiseffective
withouttheAssentofQueen,whileinpractice,Queenmustsignallthebillspresentedtoher.
AccordingtoOgg:
TheGovernmentinUKisinultimatetheoryanabsoluteMonarchy,informalimitedconstitutional
MonarchyandinactualcharacteraDemocraticRepublic.
TheKingintheoryhasallthepowersandcanexercisethembutinrealityheisameresignatory
figure.HeworksontheadviceofPrimeMinister.AsWalterBagehotquotes,
TheBritishQueenreignsbutdoesnotrule.
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05/09/2015

SalientFeaturesofBritishConstitution|ReviewingBySammiya

Unreality:
Apartdisparitybetweentheoryandpractice,thereisalsoanelementofunreality.Thingsarenot
whattheylooklike.Thereexistsagreatdivergenceinitstheory.
NatureofConventions:
ConventionsaredeeplyrootedintheBritishConstitution.IfanyonewantstoknowtheBritish
Constitution,muststudytheconventionscarefully.Therearemanyconventionswhichareonly
knowntotheCabinet,JudiciaryandParliament.Theseformtheexcessiveunwrittenpartand
beinganimportantfeaturearealsoamajorsourceofConstitution.
E.g.
1.PrimeMinisterischosenfromHouseofCommons.
2.QueenmustgiveherassenttoallthebillspassedbyParliament.
3.HouseofLordsbenchesarered,whileHouseofcommonsbenchesareGreen.
FlexibilityofConstitution:
Thoughtheconstitutionisnotinapropercodifiedform,ithasagreatadaptabilitycharacter.Itis
veryeasytoamendandmakenewlaws.Itrequiresasimplemajoritytopassanamendment.
Regardlessofitsflexibility,therehavebeenaveryfewchangesmadetilldate.
UnitaryState:
ItiscalledaUnitarystatebecausetherearenounitsinBritain.Allpowersareconcentratedinto
oneSinglecentralAuthority.
Bicameralism:
Itliterallymeansdividedintotwoparts.BritishLegislativeauthority,theParliamentisdividedas
follows:
HouseofLords
HouseofCommons
HouseofLords:
Itconsistsof26BishopsandArchbishopsofChurchofEnglandcalledasSpiritualPeers;.There
are92HereditaryPeers,1IrishPeer,16ScottishPeersandseveralhundredLifePeers.
ThesearenominatedbytheCrownontheadviceofPM.
HouseofCommons:
Itconsistsof650memberselectedbycitizensofBritain.Thishouseismorepowerfulthanthe
HouseofLords.MoneybillscanonlyoriginatefromHouseofCommons.PMisalsoselectedfrom
HouseofCommons.
SovereigntyofParliament:
BritishParliamentisverypowerfulandSupreme.Followingarethemajorpointsthatdescribeit
andclarifyitscharacter:
1.ThereisnoLawwhichBritishParliamentcannotmakeorundo.
2.NoCourtcanchallengetheactsorlawspassedbytheparliament.
3.Itrulesthemonarchandcandecideitsfortuneandacts.
4.ItcanprohibittheKingtomarryawomanofhischoice.
5.Itcanchangethehereditaryruleofthronebyjustonesimpleact.
6.Itcanabolishmonarchy,abolishHouseofLordsanddistributePowerstoitsCitizens.
7.Itcandoanything,exceptmakeamanawomanandconversely.
RuleofLaw:
ItissaidthatLawisaboveeveryoneandappliestoeverybody.Itisaveryfundamentalconcept
havingfollowingaspects:
Legality:
Allstateactionsmustbeauthorized.Lawsshouldnotbearbitrary.
Certainty:
Lawsshouldbeclear,certainandpredictable.
Consistency:
TheLawsshouldbeappliedequallytoall,nooneisabovetheLaw.
Accountability:
Lawsarenecessarytoprovideastandardtomeasuretheactionofthestate.
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SalientFeaturesofBritishConstitution|ReviewingBySammiya

DueProcessandAccesstoJustice:
Nooneshouldbepunishedwithoutatrial.Itmustbeafairtrialandheldbeforeanindependent
andimpartialtribunal.
ThiscanbeviewedbythevariousActsofParliament,judicialdecisionsandbyvirtueofcommon
law.
MergerofPowers:
UKisagoodexampleofmergerofpowers.Therearethreepillarsofitsgovernment.
Executive:ItisthebodywhichexecutesLaws,proposesandenforcesthem.Itcomprisesofthe
Monarch,PrimeMinister.
Legislative:ItisthebodywhichmakesoramendsLaw.
Judiciary:ItinterpretsLaws.
InBritain,ExecutiveandLegislativearefusedintooneandanotherformingCabinet.
Before2009,UKcouldbeseenasacompletemergerofpowers.NowSupremeCourtisalso
establishedseparatelyinUK.Earlier,ExecutivetheCrown&PM,TheJudiciaryandthe
LegislativebodieswerecombinedtogetherinWestminister,Uk.
BlendedConstitution:
ThisisaveryuniquefeatureoftheBritishConstitution.ItisamixtureofMonarchy,Aristocracy
andDemocracy.
Monarchy:DuetoexistenceofCrown
Aristocracy:DuetoexistenceofHouseofLords
Democracy:DuetoexistenceofHouseofCommons.
ConservativeNature:
Thelongdrivenconventionsareaproofoftheirconservativenature.Thishasmadetheir
Constitutionevenstronger.
PoliticalParties:
TherearethreepoliticalpartiesinBritain.Labor,ConservativesandtheLiberalDemocrats.
ConservativesandLiberalDemocratshavetogetherformedacoalitiongovernmentcurrently.
RightsofCitizen:
Britainhasrecognizedbroadlibertiestoitscitizens.ThesefundamentalRightsareembodiedin
BillofRights1689.
ElementofAdjustability:
AdaptabilityandAdjustabilityoftheBritishPoliticalInstitutionsareremarkabletraitsofher
politicallife.TransitionfromFeudalismtoCapitalism,AbsoluteMonarchytoConstitutional
MonarchyandfromaPoliceStatetoaWelfareStatehavebeenpeacefulandGradual.

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