Although, it is known to be unwritten, there are many written elements that make up the UK constitution such as legislations and case law. Thus, the UK can be said to have a partly written constitution. The UK has constitutional documents, first and most primary, the Magna Carta 1215 which consists of values that show limitations to the power the monarch holds. The aim behind Magna Carta was to create peace which did not quite work out. However, despite it not holding any legal significance today, it has been successful in showing the rights of citizens and has influenced many common law documents.
The United Kingdom is one of three states that are said to not have a codified constitution, with no single document defining the fundamental principles upon which the country operates. It is instead composed of Acts of Parliament that have been deemed ‘constitutional statutes’ , judgements of the court, various constitutional conventions that are largely political in nature, influential academic writings, particular international treaties (i.e the European Union) and royal prerogative. Anthony King summarily defines the relationship between a country’s constitution and the codified document often termed ‘The Constitution’. The full constitution of any country is rarely, if ever, defined in a single prevailing document (what King terms the
Parliamentary sovereignty is a feature of Britain political system, it is a key principle of the U.K.’s uncodified constitution. Parliamentary sovereignty makes the Parliament the supreme legislative authority of Westminster which means Parliament has the right to make, amend and repeal laws. Overall, the courts cannot overrule the legislation unlike in other constitutions like the United states of America. No Parliament can pass laws that future Parliament cannot change. Although generally the U.K is often referred to having an unwritten constitution this is incorrect, in fact the UK has an uncodified constitution.
Instead, Britain’s monarchies were constitutional. A constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as the head of the state, but typically adopts a parliamentary system as well. The inclusive government serves as the sole wellspring of political power in state and is not lawfully bound by any constitution. Because of various historical matters, the power of the Britain monarchy started to decline the day it was established. To understand fully the reasons why Britain never achieved absolute monarchy, we need to look into the turning points in the English history.
Parliamentary sovereignty, the philosophy of the Parliament being the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or abolish any law, is commonly considered to be the defining principle of the British ‘Constitution’. Other core principles of the British Constitution are often believed to incorporate the rule of law, the separation of government, and the existence of a unitary state, meaning ultimate power is held by ‘the center’ – the sovereign Westminster Parliament. However, some of these principles are to an extent fictional. The separation of powers is not fully distinguished between all three branches, and the Parliamentary sovereignty may have been challenged given the joint impact of the European Union, devolution, the Courts, and human
They have their own legislations, statutes, precedents, doctrines etc. One such doctrine of Separation of Powers was established in various countries. This doctrine emphasizes the mutual exclusiveness of the three organs of the government. According to this doctrine, the legislature cannot exercise executive or judicial power; the executive cannot exercise legislative or judicial power; and the judiciary cannot exercise the other two powers. This theory is U.S.A. based as they believe that there should be separation between the executive and the legislature.
People often refer to the UK having an 'unwritten constitution' but that's not firmly true. It may not be present in a sole copy, like in the USA or Germany, but most of it are written down, ample of it in the laws passed in Parliament, that is as statute law. Therefore, the UK constitution is often described as 'partly written and wholly uncodified'. (Uncodified means that the UK does not have a single, written constitution. )1 The British Constitution is based on principles found in statutes, customs, precedents, judicial decisions, historical documents, conventions and practices.
Parliament and the State Legislatures are not supreme. They have to enact laws subject to the provisions set out in the Federal and State constitutions. The word ‘supremacy’ shows the highest authority or rank and could even be known as being in an all-powerful position. The word ‘constitution’
A constitution is a set of fundamental and entrenched rules governing the conduct of an organisation or nation, establishing its concept, character, and structure. It is usually a short document general nature and embodying the aspirations of values of its writers and subjects. (Business Dictionary, 2015). A constitution is the ultimate authority; any action, which contravenes the rules of the constitution, will be both unconstitutional and unlawful. It will also help identify the rights and freedoms of citizens through a bill of rights, which operates both to protect citizens and to restrict the power of the state.
Legitimacy is defined as the right and acceptance of an authority. This right has two sides: the first where a state claims why it has a right to rule, and the second where the population accepts or tolerates the claim. Three such forms of legitimacy are employed, namely traditional, legal-rational, and charismatic legitimacies. To understand their importance, the definition of state must first be understood. As summarized by Max Weber, a state is one that claims monopoly on the legitimated use of force within a given territory.