Constitutional Law

Essay by arninbUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2014

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"Discuss the case for and against a written constitution for the United Kingdom." (2011)

According to Colin Munro, a constitution refers to "the body of rules and arrangements concerning the government of the country". In other words, the framework of rules which dictate the way in which power is divided between the various parts of the state and the relationship between the state and the individual. In most countries, their system of rules is contained in a single document called 'the constitution' and this illustrates that there are two ways in which the term 'constitution' can be interpreted: first, as a system of rules; and, second, as a piece of paper which sets out that system of rules.

Constitutions stipulate the powers, functions and limitations of the 3 organ of the State, which consists of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. It also includes citizens' rights and liberties, the ideology of the State and the relationship between the domestic/municipal law of the country and international law.

Constitution can be divided into two: written and unwritten. Written constitution contains the main rules governing the power of the state and the relationships between the state and the individual in a single document. For the citizens of the country, the constitution is an enormously important document because it prevents the state from abusing its powers and safeguards the rights of the individual. As for unwritten constitutions, countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) with an unwritten constitution have no single document which sets out power relationships within the state. Instead, they have many sources, both written and unwritten, which combine to provide the rules regulating the state.

The sources of the UK constitution can broadly be divided into two categories: legal and non-legal. Among the legal sources of the UK constitution are...