Student that there is no UK constitution because

Student number : 17035673    

Module name and number : Constitutional and Administrative
Law (UJUUKK-30-1)

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Word count : 1209 words

Coursework question : Discuss
this statement in light of the UK’s constitution and               evaluate whether a codified
constitution is the best option for constitutional reform in the UK.

A constitution is the most important set of rules that
regulates the relations between the institutions of the state and private
institutions in a country. Thus the united states has written constitution, as
does Australia, Canada, and virtually every other state with the exception of
the UK, Israel, and New Zealand. The UK constitution is uncodified  but has evolved over the time through the
acceptance of constitutional comes from a combination of both written and
unwritten sources.

As we know the first and most complete model being that of the
United States of America in 1788 has codified constitution
provides an accessible single document which setting out the scope and distribution
of power which lays down the fundamental rules to act in accordance with
ordinary citizens within the political framework thus reducing the confusion
regarding to the right they process and holding of a constitution right as seen
in Witham. A codified constitution can protect rights because it clearly
defines the relationship between the state and the citizens. The US’s single
constitutional document is the principal document for state analysis,
supplement by the judicial decisions of the supreme court and it is also called
the federal constitution. However, codified constitution is inflexible because
the amendment procedure is only allowed in rare and exceptional circumstances.
Hence, the codified US constitution cannot evolve and be amended as easily as
the UK constitution.

Although it has been acknowledge that the UK does not have
a written constitution, a single document or codified constitution, the UK
constitution has been referred to as a recognizable entity. However, whilst
this reflects the orthodox view, namely that there is no UK constitution
because it fails to exhibit the four essential characteristics of a
constitution. These are as follows it establishes or constitutes the system of
government, is thus not part of it, it involves an authority outside and above
the order it establishes, the constituent power, it is a form of law superior
to all other laws, and it is entrenched.

Decision of the courts are also a source of the UK’s
constitution, as are the legislative supremacy of parliament, the rule of law,
the royal prerogative, and constitutional conventions. Each of these will be
considered in greater depth later in this book. A final source of the UK
constitution is to be found in EU law. Some of the laws that are made buy the
EU can rightly be described as forming part of the UK constitution. The
institutions of the EU will therefore be considered in the second part of this
book, as will the legislative procedures and the different types of legal
instrument that are provided for under the treaty on the functioning of the
European Union.

The reason for the UK
Constitution to have such flexibility between the praxis and theory in response
to changing societal needs and expectations is because of the various sources
which make up the Constitution including the Royal Prerogatives, Acts of
Parliament, law and custom of Parliament and judicial decisions. For instance,
the amendment procedure of a constitutional statute such as the Human Rights
Act 1998 and European Communities Act 1972 shows the flexibility of the UK
constitution referencing to the Thoburn Case. Since the UK’s entry into the
European Union, EU Laws now form parts of the UK Constitution. This has changed
the characteristic of the UK Constitution thus allowing the Parliament to legislate
Acts which are more adaptable to modern and up-to-date social circumstances, or
in other words, markedly codification is likely to happen as an uncodified
constitution can be amended easily.

The European communities
Act 1972, as amended, together with the European treaties, regulates the united
kingdom’s membership of the European Union and continues to have immense
significance for the constitution of the United kingdom. The law of European
Union represents an increasingly significant source of constitutional law. By
acceding to the European community, the united kingdom has undertaken the
obligation to accept the law of the Union. To understand the scope of the
Treaties and the law-making institutions, and the manner in which laws are made
and enter into force within the legal system of the member states. It is also
necessary to understand clearly the relationship between European law and
domestic law and the question of which law has supremacy should a conflict
between them arise. Under the traditional doctrine of parliamentary
sovereignty, the united kingdom parliament alone has sovereign law-making
power. The perception of the European court of Justice -the highest court of
the European union  is much different. As
will be seen, the European court has long asserted the supremacy of EU law over
the laws of member states, thus providing a fertile source for constitutional
speculation about parliament’s sovereignty.

The Human Right Act 1998 ,
which incorporates the right enshrined in the European Convention on Human
Rights and Freedoms into domestic law, represent a fundamental change inn the
domestic protection of rights. The impact of the Human Right Act 1998 has been
felt across wide areas of domestic law and provides citizens for the first time
with a code of rights which are enforceable in the domestic courts rather than
in the European court of Human Right in Strasbourg.

Judges play a major role
in interpreting the Parliament Acts and to restraint the power of Parliament.
For example, the courts make judgments based on the precedents. However, the
new precedents can be made anytime to overturn the old ones which again shows
that the UK Constitution is easy to be amended.

the advantages of having an uncodified constitution is being extremely adaptable or flexible. Since it
is unwritten, it can be changed easily to deal with new situations at any point
in time. All that is necessary for the practises to be changed is for
Parliament to agree that change is necessary. Also, it can be easily adaptable – For example, an uncodified constitution can
be amended smoothly and quickly when needed. UK’s
constitution provides a clear sovereign decision making authority , also the
core executive is established. UK’s constitution also can defined as
Accountability- Strong government = responsible government and Government is
accountable to parliament which is accountable to the citizens.

the disadvantages of having an uncodified constitution is lack of Clarity. It
can  defined as not always clear when
government has acted unconstitutionally. For examples, conventions on
ministerial responsibility are unclear. There is no constitutional court to
check the power of the state and defend civil liberties. Concentration of power
means power is dangerously at the centre. Few safeguards against the arbitrary
exercise of state power. strong majority governments can force through
legislation without much dispute.

conclusion, there have been shown about the pros and cons of codification of
the UK constitution. Nevertheless, the unwritten characteristic of the UK
constitution and illustrated the various advantages, which have been observed
over time. The UK constitution is guided by numerous principles, parliamentary
supremacy being the main pillar. This characteristic has elicited advantages
such as promotion of democracy, accountability, and transparency, and
flexibility which allows for easy amendment procedures when need arises for
change. The unwritten constitution has worked for the UK and even though minor
changes are inevitable, it remains more practical than the codified




Primary sources


Rights Act 1998

Convention On Human Right Act 1998

Secondary Sources





Website () Human Rights Act 1998, Available at: (Accessed: 4/7/2015).