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Critically assess the virtues and shortcomings of Britain's 'un-codified' Constitution. Critically assess the Pr - Essay Example

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History and political science Name Instructor Course Institution Date Virtues and shortcomings of Britain’s ‘un-codified’ Constitution A constitution is a set of rules and guidelines that are printed in a sovereign state. The difference between the British constitution and the constitution in other countries is that the British constitution is un-codified, meaning that it is not a book or writing that outlines some of the state rules…
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Critically assess the virtues and shortcomings of Britains un-codified Constitution. Critically assess the Pr
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"Critically assess the virtues and shortcomings of Britain's 'un-codified' Constitution. Critically assess the Pr"

Download file to see previous pages For this reason, the acts and laws passed in parliament become the constitution, as long as they have respect to the sovereignty of parliament as well as the principles of governance and legislation. The parliament in this case is sovereign and superior to every other institution in Britain, which means that it has the mandate of interpreting the constitution, thereby representing the sovereign will of the people. The un-codified British constitution constitutes values and political ideas that are based on ideals and precepts rather than fundamentals that are based on texts or documents (Williams, 1998: p 57). This means that the constitution and laws are symbols of the embodiment of their political culture, traditions and values of the British society. One of the strengths of the un-codified British constitution is that it is flexible. Many countries with the codified constitution find it difficult to pass legislation since the government is accountable and the constitution is protects individuals. For instance, Britain was able to pass legislation meant to detain terror suspects for a long period after several terrorist attacks. Other countries with the codified constitution during this period found it difficult to do the same since their constitutions were protecting the liberties of individuals (Watts, 2007: p 204). For this reason, these governments were not able to detain the terror suspects for a long duration, as the relevant authorities continued with their investigations. Apart from the flexibility of the un-codified constitution, its other strength is that it is able to evolve. Individuals in society live according to the changes in the political climate. This gives the British parliament the power to change some of the laws that seem to be outdated, consequently changing the way people live in the society (Watts, 2007: p 202). The ability of the evolution of the un-codified constitution creates an environment that is comfortable for individuals to reside. For instance, in 1867, sovereignty was given to parliament, after it was taken away from the monarchy, which was responsible for the creation of a democratic political environment. This change made it possible for individuals to know their place in society. On the other hand, other than the opposition in parliament, there are no provisions for checking the government. This is one of the major shortcomings of the un-codified constitution. The absence of the checks and balance mechanisms might lead to the creation of an unjust political system, where the government might be in a position to oppress individuals in the society selectively. Using the previous example on terrorism, the British government had the capability of holding suspects for long periods, and with the probability that they might be lacking enough evidence to charge them, the detainment would be an infringement on the rights of the individual. Contrary to this, the codified constitution presents an opportunity for the creation of a political system that is just (Williams, 1998: p 52). In this case, the government will not be able to oppress individuals in the society, unless they have concrete evidence that a suspect is a terrorist. Before charging the suspect, he or she will be able to continue enjoying some of the rights and freedoms in society. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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