Free The British Constitution Essay Sample
For any state to maintain order and identity it requires a set of fundamental values that govern its subjects. These fundamental values must be upheld by parliaments, courts and other institutions established to maintain and reinforce them. This notion of shared membership, of collective rights and responsibilities is known as a constitution (Bradley & Ewing, 2007, pp. 102).
A constitution can either be a written constitution or an unwritten constitution. The British constitution is an unwritten constitution (Taylor, 2009, pp. 62). As such, the British constitution has clear advantages for instance; it is flexible enough to be amended, by increasing or decreasing as per the will of the elected parliament of the day without any difficulties or long procedures. Conversely, it has the disadvantage of provoking as much wrangling among lawyers, politicians and historians as it may leave substantial layers of ambiguity around sometimes crucial issues relating to its subjects' liberties.
The primary sources of the British constitution (Fenwick & Phillipson, 2007, pp. 46) are split into five broad categories namely:
One of the key aspects of the British constitution that has over time seemed to lose its usefulness is the monarchy form of governance. Today, it is one of the handful developed nations to still have an extended Royal Family.Unsuprisingly, over the past decade there have been calls to do away with some quarters of the monarchy and instead replace it with an elected head of state in the guise of a president (Harrison & Boyd, 2006, pp. 89). This has been fuelled by the controversies surrounding the Royal Household for example, Prince Charles' divorce from late Diana, Princess of Wales, and the relationship with Camilla. An elected president is better as he is given mandate by his subjects to represent them internationally.
However, the British constitution has its strengths which need to be strengthened. For instance the House of Commons has the authority in initiating a motion of no confidence against the government thus ensuring needs are of the subjects are prioritized. The main reason for constitutional reforms in the British constitution is to undermine the concept of Parliament sovereignty. Also the passage of freedom of Information Act questions the British idea of not letting out information about the government's operations (Barnett, 2002, pp. 12). The British constitution has its strengths and flaws and should therefore be well analyzed to ensure that the subjects have the best governance.