British Law - The Constitution
[...] Over time, some of these books part of the Constitution. (Dicey) An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution 1885. MAGNA CARTA 1215 BILL OF RIGHTS 1689 (monarch, consent of Parliament suspending or dispensing with laws). BALLOT ACT 1872 (setting up the secret ballot at Parliamentary elections). PARLIAMENT ACT 1911 (reduces powers of the HL, in particular Money bills). THE ROYAL PREROGATIVE Ÿ Most prerogative powers = exercised by ministers. Ÿ Some = nominally by the monarch, but on the advice of PM & Cabinet when to use them. [...]
[...] The Separation of Powers. The executive, the legislature and the judiciary. There should be a clear demarcation in function between each of these bodies. The powers of each should be held in check by the others. 1st = Aristotle. Montesquieu De l''Esprit des Lois 1748 (no liberty if the power of judging isn''t separated from the legislature and the executive). enacting laws. executing public affaire. trying crimes or individual causes. EXECUTIVE = Prime Minister & his Cabinet (HC + HL). [...]
[...] full and authoritative set of rules written down in a single place (codified - US). less tangible, often having involved over time, traditions and customs (unmodified - UK). CONSTITUTION: STATUTE LAW. TREATIES & EU LAW. CONVENTIONS. COMMON LAW. WORKS OF AUTHORITY. STATUTE LAW: Act of Parliament. Parliament Acts of 1911 limits powers of the HL. Extend & distribution of govt powers. Rights within democracy. TREATIES & EU LAW CONVENTIONS: Traditions, customs. Evolved over time. Become accepted as rules of behaviour. Won''t stand up in a court of law. [...]
[...] THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT (HRA). The European Convention on Human Rights : signed in 1950, came into force in 2000. ECHR : Strasbourg. Govt accused of violating the Convention''s terms. All the national appeal process exhausted. Ÿ Right to life. Ÿ Right to a fair trial. Ÿ Prohibition of torture. Ÿ Freedom of expression. Ÿ Prohibition of discrimination. CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS: Ÿ Scotland Act. Ÿ Govt of Wales Act. Ÿ HRA. Ÿ Referendum (growing use). Ÿ HL Reform ( Hereditary Peers (future of the House)). [...]
[...] Ÿ Principles of the Constitution = case-law # statute law. PARLIAMENTATY GOVERNMENT / CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. mandate given through free and fair election limited. All politicians and ministers = accountable for their actions to the electorate (furthering the interests of its citizens). MONARCH : Technically part of Parliament The Queen in Parliament Strictly controlled in what they can do (by statute and conventions). Symbolic and ceremonial In practice = PM exercises most of the effective power of the monarch Monarch still has significant power and might have to use them. [...]
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