Busy. Please wait.
or

show password
Forgot Password?

Don't have an account?  Sign up 
or

Username is available taken
show password

why


Make sure to remember your password. If you forget it there is no way for StudyStack to send you a reset link. You would need to create a new account.
We do not share your email address with others. It is only used to allow you to reset your password. For details read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.


Already a StudyStack user? Log In

Reset Password
Enter the associated with your account, and we'll email you a link to reset your password.
Don't know
Know
remaining cards
Save
0:01
To flip the current card, click it or press the Spacebar key.  To move the current card to one of the three colored boxes, click on the box.  You may also press the UP ARROW key to move the card to the "Know" box, the DOWN ARROW key to move the card to the "Don't know" box, or the RIGHT ARROW key to move the card to the Remaining box.  You may also click on the card displayed in any of the three boxes to bring that card back to the center.

Pass complete!

"Know" box contains:
Time elapsed:
Retries:
restart all cards
Embed Code - If you would like this activity on your web page, copy the script below and paste it into your web page.

  Normal Size     Small Size show me how

Politics AS Level

The Constitution

TermDefinition
Define the term 'codified' the whole constitution is written down in one document
Define the term 'common law' A set of laws that have evolved over a long period of time. Most of the laws in the UK are common laws and are unwritten, they evolve from legal precedent.
What sort of constitution do we have in the UK? An uncodified, flexible, unitary constitution
What is a constitution? - a set of rules which explains how the state is to be governed - sets out values and principles - sets out limitations of power - normally happens after upheaval
Describe the 'British Constitution' - unitary, uncodified, and flexible - derives from tradition and legislation - based on sovereignty of parliament - fusion of powers
Who coined the term 'parliamentary sovereignty' A V Dicey
Identify the main sources of the British Constitution - Magna Carta (1215) people should have control over monarch and certain fundamental rights -
What is the idea that parliament is sovereign? Parliament has ultimate authority over all law making, every bill has to pass through. No parliament can bind its successor
What is the rule of law? No one is above the law, everyone has the right to a fair trial, no one should be punished if they are innocent, innocent until proven guilty
How does Parliamentary Sovereignty work in practice? HoL can delay legislation, highest courts can decide legality, electorate can vote the Government out, e-petitions can sway the gov, EU takes precedence
How does the rule of law work in practice? Money can afford better lawyers, media can sway a case, biased judges, repeal of
Define the term 'codified' the whole constitution is written down in one document
Define the term 'common law' A set of laws that have evolved over a long period of time. Most of the laws in the UK are common laws and are unwritten, they evolve from legal precedent.
What sort of constitution do we have in the UK? An uncodified, flexible, unitary constitution
What is a constitution? - a set of rules which explains how the state is to be governed - sets out values and principles - sets out limitations of power - normally happens after upheaval
Describe the 'British Constitution' - unitary, uncodified, and flexible - derives from tradition and legislation - based on sovereignty of parliament - fusion of powers
Who coined the term 'parliamentary sovereignty' A V Dicey
Identify the main sources of the British Constitution - Magna Carta (1215) people should have control over monarch and certain fundamental rights -
What is the idea that parliament is sovereign? Parliament has ultimate authority over all law making, every bill has to pass through. No parliament can bind its successor
What is the rule of law? No one is above the law, everyone has the right to a fair trial, no one should be punished if they are innocent, innocent until proven guilty
How does Parliamentary Sovereignty work in practice? HoL can delay legislation, highest courts can decide legality, electorate can vote the Government out, e-petitions can sway the gov, EU takes precedence
How does the rule of law work in practice? Money can afford better lawyers, media can sway a case, biased judges, repeal of HRA clauses
What is the impact of the HRA on the consitution? The HRA 1998 declares that all legislation must be compatible with the ECHR, judiciary have to interpret and declare incompatibility. Ultimately power lies with Parl. Hard to repeal, places more emphasis on the jud. (read in and out) upholds ROL
What is the impact of the FOI act on the constitution? Gives the public access to previously confidential info.
What constitutional reform have we already had? - Labour's Constitutional reform 1997-2010 - HRA 1998 and FOIA 2000 - Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly - Elected Mayors and GLA - Set up for the AV Referendum - All but 92 hed peers removed - Supreme Court established 2009
Criticisms of Labour's constitutional reform - Lacked overarching vision, was done on an ad hoc basis - Was evolutionary, rather than revolutionary - Conservatives said that it was too extreme
Arguments why the UK does need a written constitution - Would remove uncertainty about specific roles - Current situation is undemocratic - Would limit the power of the executive - Protect judicial independence - Key laws would be entrenched - Would set out clear values and prevent crises
Arguments why the UK does NOT need a written constitution - Flexibility allows for freedom - Has always worked well - Ensures strong and effective government - A constitution does not guarantee better protection of rights - Would be hard and long process
Define the term 'legal sovereignty' The ultimate legal power to decide
What are the strengths of the British constitution? - Tried and tested - flexibility allows us to adapt - we have a clear centre of authority - sensible yet powerful government with checks and balances
What are the weaknesses of the British constitution? - key laws are not entrenched - can be manipulated by single party governments - excessive centralisation of power - fusion of powers - few opportunities for citizens to get involved
Did Labour's reforms produce a new constitutional settlement? - Key rights were more protected, i.e HRA - Reform is an ongoing process - No overarching plan for them - Further checks and balances introduced - Key legislation is likely to endure de facto
Why does Britain not have a codified constitution? We have simply never had a constitutional 'moment'. No major political unrest, our constitution is organic and develops on an 'ad-hoc' basis
'If Parliament is sovereign, there is no point in having a codified constitution.' Explain If Parliament has the ultimate and unlimited law-making authority, then no constitution would be able to bind them. So making a codified constitution would either go against our key principle of sovereignty, or be redundant
Arguments that parliament is still legally sovereign - Ultimate sovereignty - Veto on FoI cases - Can refuse to amend EU incompatibilities - Authority handed down and passed out - In theory sovereign, not in practice
Arguments that parliament is no longer legally sovereign - EU Law - Some terrible consequences can bind the successor - Trial by media
Why Britain should have a codified constitution - Preserve key values - Fall into line - Represent a new beginning - Enshrine parliamentary sovereignity
Why Britain should not have a codified constitution - Would be pointless because of sovereignty of parliament - Not the right time - Society has moved on past the principles we currently have
Created by: bethysav