Does the UK need a written Constitution?

Sixty

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The Brexit threads have thrown up a very good discussion on the merits or otherwise of a written Constitution. Mainly by @Stonker and @Caecilius .
@Sixty has ageed to move the posts across to here for a more detailed discussion while not derailing, if that is possible, any Brexit/Boris thread.

Hopefully this evening will see the posts moved and the discussion continue.
Done, though I've doubtless missed a few/moved stuff that didn't need moving. Feel free to flag up if you spot any.
 
I'm not sure how either of those are remotely relevant to the current democratic issues. I certainly don't think there's any problem with the continuation of a constitutional monarchy. There's a good argument for Lords reform, but there's no consensus on how I'm not sure now is a good time.



The USA and Russia are both democracies with written constiutions. I don't think a written constitution is the elixir you're looking for.



Well yes. Discussing ideas seems to be the point of an internet forum. But I guess if you can't counter my argument you can always complain that two short paragraphs is too long for you to read. ;)
Point of order m'lud. The US is a constitutional republic--VERY substantively different than a democracy that our founders assiduously avoided.

It us an easy thing to misstate as many of our own politicians do it, whether out of gross ignorance or intentional misdirection.
 
Point of order m'lud. The US is a constitutional republic--VERY substantively different than a democracy that our founders assiduously avoided.

It us an easy thing to misstate as many of our own politicians do it, whether out of gross ignorance or intentional misdirection.
We're a constitutional monarchy rather than a democracy though, so close to a democracy but subtly different
 

Caecilius

LE
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Point of order m'lud. The US is a constitutional republic--VERY substantively different than a democracy that our founders assiduously avoided.

It us an easy thing to misstate as many of our own politicians do it, whether out of gross ignorance or intentional misdirection.
This is splitting hairs I think. I've seen this point made a lot by Americans but all countries that come under the broad heading of 'democracy' have different political systems. There are specific terms for all of those, but they're still 'democracies' in a broad sense unless you understand that term to apply purely to the now-defunct Athenian system.
 
America's issues, I would argue, are less rooted in the Constitution, and more rooted in the cultures (assorted) of that nation.
IMHO, our Constitution is just fine and our "issues" are driven largely by partisan politics and socialistic ideologies that are an anathema to the Constitution such that there are continuous efforts to ignore or subvert it.
 
The big problem with having a written constitution is that the government will write it and if you allow that to happen then you might as well let rapists and those whose name we cannot speak, (the dirty kiddy fiddlers), write the Sexual Offences Act.
 

Caecilius

LE
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You appear not to have read, or perhaps simply don't like, the reply you got from @Kinch, in #41.
Or possibly neither, given that #41 doesn't answer his question. What @Kinch (accurately) said is a very long way from claiming HM's job is to hold MPs to account.
 

Auld-Yin

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Personally I'm not sure that we need a written Constitution, indeed with the current bunch of politicians and media I doubt we could get an agreed, sensible Constitution fit for the next 1000 years!

What we do need is a parliament that is run properly with people taking on the role that has previously worked well. A Speaker that truly is unbiased, an executive with executive powers, an opposition who once they have held the government to task are prepared to call a GE when in a strong position tondo so.

To have parliament run from the back benches via the Speaker's Chair and the courts is a recipe for disaster, as we see.

The first Act of the next parliament should be to ditch the Fixed Term Parliament Act as that has been a major factor in this fiasco. I expect to hear that in the Queen's Speech, or at least in the Tory manifesto.
 
Personally I'm not sure that we need a written Constitution, indeed with the current bunch of politicians and media I doubt we could get an agreed, sensible Constitution fit for the next 1000 years!

What we do need is a parliament that is run properly with people taking on the role that has previously worked well. A Speaker that truly is unbiased, an executive with executive powers, an opposition who once they have held the government to task are prepared to call a GE when in a strong position tondo so.

To have parliament run from the back benches via the Speaker's Chair and the courts is a recipe for disaster, as we see.

The first Act of the next parliament should be to ditch the Fixed Term Parliament Act as that has been a major factor in this fiasco. I expect to hear that in the Queen's Speech, or at least in the Tory manifesto.
An interesting input from a respected academic:
If a written constitution for the future is to be prepared, it must be one that engages and involves everyone, especially young people, and not simply legal experts and parliamentarians. Some of the mystique and charm of our ancient constitution might be lost in the process, but a written constitution could bring government and the governed closer together, above all by making the rules by which our political democracy operates more accessible and intelligible to all.

Robert Blackburn (LLD, FRHistS) is Professor of Constitutional Law at King’s College London.
 

Auld-Yin

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An interesting input from a respected academic:
If a written constitution for the future is to be prepared, it must be one that engages and involves everyone, especially young people, and not simply legal experts and parliamentarians. Some of the mystique and charm of our ancient constitution might be lost in the process, but a written constitution could bring government and the governed closer together, above all by making the rules by which our political democracy operates more accessible and intelligible to all.

Robert Blackburn (LLD, FRHistS) is Professor of Constitutional Law at King’s College London.
Can you name one constitution that has been written in that manner? Sounds just like the sort of bullshit that would prevent a constitution being pulled together.

It will not happen overnight and will, IMHO, take decades to get written properly so the young people would be the old ones at the end and the process starts all over again!
 
An interesting input from a respected academic:
If a written constitution for the future is to be prepared, it must be one that engages and involves everyone, especially young people, and not simply legal experts and parliamentarians. Some of the mystique and charm of our ancient constitution might be lost in the process, but a written constitution could bring government and the governed closer together, above all by making the rules by which our political democracy operates more accessible and intelligible to all.

Robert Blackburn (LLD, FRHistS) is Professor of Constitutional Law at King’s College London.
Typically in a truly free nation, a constitution may be drafted under government auspices but for it to enter into force requires the affirmative assent of the citizenry through a fully informed national vote.
 

rampant

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Point of order m'lud. The US is a constitutional republic--VERY substantively different than a democracy that our founders assiduously avoided.

It us an easy thing to misstate as many of our own politicians do it, whether out of gross ignorance or intentional misdirection.
If we are being pedantic, can we change the title of this thread to "Does the UK need a Codified Constitution?", we already possess a written constitution in the myriad of laws and piles of parchment, what it is not, unlike say the French or US Constituition, codified into a singles identifiable document.
 
If we are being pedantic, can we change the title of this thread to "Does the UK need a Codified Constitution?", we already possess a written constitution in the myriad of laws and piles of parchment, what it is not, unlike say the French or US Constituition, codified into a singles identifiable document.
Mostly correct though many 'constitutional conventions' are not written at all - for example, that h/she who commands a majority in and the confidence of the house shall be PM.
 
Anyway, to answer the question...

No.


We do not need a codified written constitution like the US has.What we need to do is roll back the Blair Governments attempts to Americanise our unwritten constitution with things like the "supreme" court and the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.

We ran the world without a written constitution.
 
What we need to do is roll back the Blair Governments attempts to Americanise our unwritten constitution with things like the "supreme" court and the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.
The FTPA was passed by the Con/Lib coalition not Blair.
 
The FTPA was passed by the Con/Lib coalition not Blair.
Frankly that coalition was a continuation of Blairism. It was difficult to distinguish between Blair, Cameron and Clegg, and any of them could have been responsible and the others would have been complicit.
 

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