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Constitutional and Administrative Law - Essay Example

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The absence of a written constitution, which aims to secure the safety of democratic structure or serve as the foundation of the legal system in the United Kingdom, presents both benefits and detriments. Although it is a democratic country, as the entire citizenry, separately and through indirect involvement in the decisions of the government, can participate and endeavor to influence political life, the United Kingdom is one of the few nations which does not have a 'single' formally written or codified document considered as a 'constitution' to establish freedom and boundaries in the political system, rights of the states and responsibilities of the citizens (Kurian 1998)…
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Constitutional and Administrative Law
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Download file to see previous pages A majority of nations have gone through an occurrence which caused them to depart with history affording them the prospect of codifying their constitutional system. However, Britain is unique in this aspect as the British constitution is a consequence of steady progression and transformation rather than a conscious attempt to devise an absolute arrangement of constitution and government (Raphael, 2004). Nonetheless, it is apparent that Britain possesses a constitution which categorizes statutes and systems involving the primary institutions of the state.
However, many scholars contend that the absence of a codified constitution results to a power 'vacuum,' a vacuity seized by the legislative supremacy of the Parliament. Although the branches of the British government comprise of the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary, there is an overlap in power and functions between the branches, as a formal division of powers or system of checks and balances, is absent (Burnett, 2002). The Lord Chancellor, for instance, is a constituent of all the three branches concurrently serving as a member of the cabinet, the legislative and the judiciary. The British Parliament, composed of the monarch, the House of Lords, comprised largely of appointed members, and the House of Common whose members are elected, is the most sovereign This sovereignty of the Parliament is evident in its 'legislative enactments', binding on each and every one, although the British citizens could dispute the legality of a particular act under a specific decree in the courts (Burnett, 2002). A. V. Dicey made this clear when he stated that,
1The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this, namely, that Parliament thus defined has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.
The entire political authority resides on the prime minister and the cabinet, and the monarch must operate on their counsel. The prime minister selects the cabinet from MPs, coming from his political party and a great number of cabinet ministers head the departments of the government. The prime minister's power was augmented in the 20th century as sometimes, acting alone or with another colleague in the parliament, the prime minister has made and created decisions and pronouncements formerly made by the cabinet all together. This does not mean though, that Prime ministers have not been overruled by the cabinet on various instances. In fact, Prime Ministers must generate the support of the cabinet to exercise their authority more effectively (Maitland, 1908).
This idea of the parliament was referred to as the 2 "twin pillars" of the constitution by A.V. Dicey, in his treatise An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885). Dicey asserts that the constitution is founded ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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