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p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.

0px; text-align: center; font: 32.0px Baskerville; color: #dc5922; -webkit-text-stroke: #dc5922}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.

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0px Baskerville; color: #444444; -webkit-text-stroke: #444444; min-height: 14.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 4.0px 0.

0px; font: 12.0px Baskerville; color: #444444; -webkit-text-stroke: #444444}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}span.s2 {font: 8.0px Baskerville; font-kerning: none}Public Law: Summative The UK constitution has many points of discussion. As an example the main sources of theConstitution are unorthodox as its common for constitutions to have only 1 source, but the U.K have a total of 5 sources. In this summative I will also explore the history of the UK Constitution; the separation of powers inside the government; parliamentary sovereignty and how its opposed by the EU; the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 and the last subject that i am going to cover is devolution.

 The Wealth of the UK constitution explains the uncodified constitution we have. The difference between a codified and uncodified constitution is very straight forward. Codified means the constitution is written down in a single document, for example the US constitution is codified. An uncodified constitution means it’s not written down in  a single document; the constitution could spread across many documents or even not written down-this is called a convention-where its tradition empowers the law. To help understand the difference in a more detailed explanation you have look at the US. You can see that the constitution is written down on one document different to the contrasting uncodified version of the UK’s constitution which is spread across five sources.”Unlike most countries, the United Kingdom does not have a constitution in thesense of a single coherent code of fundamental law which prevails over all other sources oflaw.

Our constitutional arrangements have developed over time in a pragmatic as much asin a principled way, through a combination of statutes, events, conventions, academicwriting’s and judicial decisions” Reflecting its development and its contents, the UKconstitution was described by the constitutional scholar, Professor AV Dicey, as “the mostflexible polity in existence.”It is evident in case of Miller that the court displays its recognition to the fact the constitution is uncodified based on the Alterations It’s Made such as the Works from Magna Carta 1215. It was initially a statute but is now an act of authoritative work and was created during the reign of King John.  It is difficult to find the origins of the Magna-Carta due to the changes and multiple adaptations it has taken, since its release, to fit the King as time passes, consequently it means that the Magna-Carta has no real presence in our current constitution.  The Glorious Revolution in 1688-89 is a perfect example of an evolution to the constitution. During this time King James II was exiled and parliament called upon Prince William of orange (The prince of Holland) to take over the throne. William also known as the prince of Orange  married King James II’s daughter, Mary,  which then put them in place to rule the monarch.

When Parliament  brought in a legislation giving them more power  William was receptive to it as he was regarded as an open minded person. From this point it can be argued that it was the  commencement of the modern Parliament as they gained a lot more power from the new law. Bill of Rights 1689; Act of Settlement 1701 and Act of Union 1707 are the legislations presented from ‘The glorious revolution’.

It is clear that these legislations have given much power to the Parliament as 1708 was the last time a royal assent was rejected by Queen Anne. This backs paragraph 40 in the case of Miller when it states that our constitution has developed over time, And  is additionally backed by the fact that a statute from 12:15 being the Magna Carta has a place in the constitution of the UKAlso the Glorious Revolution shows how the modern Parliament gained their power, also proving that the UK constitution has developed over time.Since the history of the UK constitution has been discussed, it is vital that we move onto the current state of the constitution. Firstly, the characteristics of the Constitution. It is a 1 state system. The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, thisstate is run by one supreme government body and that is westminster in London. However,westminster does have devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, Wales and a Parliament inScotland.

The institutions that run Westminster is the executive, which is where the PrimeMinister and the cabinet exercise their power. The legislature is the next institution, andthat is where MPs exercise their power on creating legislation mainly in the House ofCommons rather than House of Lords since the House of Lords are not elected theCommons decided to remove a lot of their power. They cannot stop a bill from gettingpassed that was in the government’s manifesto. The last government institution is theJudiciary, this is where law experts interpret the law. This mainly has to do with the UKSupreme Court interpreting the law but it includes the entire UK course system. However,the court system isn’t usually thought about when thinking about the judiciary. The lastinstitution is the Queen she isn’t an official government but she is an important body sinceshe gives the royal assent to all Bills to make them Law.

This separation of powers give eachsection of the government their own set of powers. For example the executive branch havethe powers to create parliamentary laws when because they can submit their bill toparliament and since they are the biggest party in parliament they are more likely to passthe bill into law. The executive branch also get the powers from the royal prerogative. Theroyal prerogative is a set of powers that belong to the queen but is given to the primeminister instead. This shows that the executive have powers and is important to them sincethey are the ones running the country and need certain powers to run the government andUK in general. The legislature also have important powers that belong to them too. Forexample they have the power of parliamentary privilege which means that they are able todo anything without being scrutinized by courts.

However, the House of Lords can scrutinizethe House of Commons when they wish to which allows the parliamentary privilege powerto make a full circle since the House of Lords can scrutinize them. The judiciary don’t reallyhave power over the parliament or the executive branch since they can only interpret lawand they cannot get rid of laws unlike America’s Supreme Court. Although the branches ofgovernment are meant to be separate there are overlaps. The most prominent overlap isthe cabinet.

They are ministers and therefore they are in the executive. However, they arerecruited from the legislature, more specifically the House of Commons. This means thatthere is an overlap between the executive and legislature.

  There used to be an overlap between all 3 branches of the government. This was done by having a House of LordMember become Lord Chancellor (Head of the Judiciary). Then the Prime minister could add the Lord Chancellor to the cabinet and overlapping all parts of the government. Due to this huge overlapping parliament introduced the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005. This act created an independent JAC which selects and admits judges into the Supreme Court. This act also contains that the judiciary should be independent in Section 3 (1) . The act itself 4 doesn’t include how the judiciary should be independent but the parliament decided thatthe best way to do this is to stop House of Lords Members into the Judiciary and thereforethe separation of power is still upheld.

In the Miller case there is an argument that supportsthe overlapping in government “The executive carries on the administration of the country in accordance with the powers conferred on it by law. The courts interpret the laws, and see that they are obeyed. This requires the courts on occasion to step into the territorywhich belongs to the executive, not only to verify that the powers assertedaccord with the substantive law created by Parliament”. This argument says that the executive create laws and it is the job of the judiciary tocheck these laws. Whilst they are checking the law to see if it infringes on theconstitution it is required that they step into the territories of the executive branch.This is clearly a wrong way of thinking because the powers of government areseparated so that each branches of government can do their job without beingrestricted by the next branch of government. Therefore the Judiciary should notoverlap because they won’t be able to do their jobs effectively. For example beforethe Constitutional Reforms Act 2005 the Lord Chancellor could be in all branches ofthe government, as explained previously.

This makes the judiciary less effectivebecause the Lord Chancellor is biased and in favour of the executive since they are apart of the executive. This shows that the judiciary is ineffective when it is overlappingwith the executive. This also shows that the argument made in the Miller Case isinvalid since the separate Branches of government should not overlap. The next point of discussion is Parliamentary sovereignty.

This links back to the characteristics of the constitution since the the Uk is a 1 state country and all power is held within westminster, the next gradual step would to make parliament sovereign in lawmaking and that is what happened. Parliament is now able to make laws under any subject and their word is final. Especially since they can change the constitution in a single act of parliament.

Parliamentary Sovereignty “was famously summarised by Professor Dicey as meaning that Parliament has ‘the right to make or unmake any law whatsoever; and further, no person or body is recognised by the law as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament’…

Thus, Parliament, or more precisely the Crown in Parliament, lays down the law through statutes or primary legislation as it is also known–and not in any other way”.This means that Parliament can make any law under the peace of the crownand any other body has no right in overriding the statutes whatsoever. However, thisis all undermined by the EU because the EU laws in the UK take precedence overdomestic laws.

For example the HRA of 1998 takes precedence over UK laws becausethat is what the UK agreed to when Joining the EU. This meant that the people likeAbu Qatada wasn’t send back to Jordan. Abu Qatada was a islamic extremist who hadconnections with terrorist groups. He was found in the UK and was going to bedeported to Jordan from a ruling on 26th February 2007 However, the deportation 7was cancelled by the ECHR since they took Abu Qatada’s appeal on not gettingdeported.

His argument was that being deported is that the Jordanian Governmentwould torture him to get evidence for his trial. This goes against the HRA Article 3, theRight to Prohibition of Torture and therefore the ECHR didn’t allow the UK to send 8Abu Qatada back in his case in 2012. to solve this problem the then Home Secretary, 9Theresa May created an agreement with Jordan that any evidence gained fromtorture will not be used against him in court in his trial in which jordan agreed to.10The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protect the HRA and they alsolook at member state to see if they have or have not upheld UK law. An examplewhere the UK didn’t take on an EU law is the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Draft Bill.

11This Bill would have allowed inmates in prison to vote in a general election. However,the UK went with option 3 where they banned voting to all prisoners. This is against 12the advice of the ECHR and therefore the UK is showing the EU that Parliament issovereign because the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Draft Bill is an EU Bill.The next point of discussion is the presence of Devolution in the UK system.Devolution is when a powerful body gives out power to different entities to use thepower to govern more effectively. This is present in the UK because of the ScotlandAct 1998, Government of Wales 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998. TheScotland Act 1998 was part of New Labour’s constitutional change.

I this act westminster lay some ground rules. One of them being lists reserve matters, whichare subjects that the scottish parliament cannot legislate on i.e. foreign affairs anddefence. These powers didn’t seem enough which is why scotland had anindependant referendum in 2016 where the result was 55% to stay., since the leavevote was so high parliament decided to give them more power.

They came up withthe Scotland Act 2016. This Act made the Scottish Parliament a permanent feature ofthe UK and westminster cannot get rid of it without Scotland’s permission. However,since Parliament is sovereign the House of Commons can make a new lawdisregarding Scotland Act 2016 and get rid of the Scottish Parliament without theirpermission. Since westminster can override the Scottish Parliament they agreed tothe Sewell Convention since it is in section 2 of the Scotland Act 2016.

The 13convention agrees that westminster have the power to get rid of the devolvedparliament without Scotland’s permission but they promise that they won’t and sincethe agreement is a convention it is a part of the constitutions since conventions is 1out of the 5 sources of the constitution.Wales didn’t have that much of an interest in their own government which is why inthe 1978 referendum there was a 79.8% vote on not having a government. However, 14in the 1997 referendum wales managed to get a majority with 50.3% of people votingfor a welsh government.

westminster came out with the Wales Act 1998, which 15gave them a government with limited powers. Westminster then gave Wales theGovernment of Wales Act 2006. This gave wales power to legislate in 20 differentareas of law. The Wales Act 2014 enlarged their current powers. Finally, the Wales Act2017 aims to make the Welsh Assembly a reserved model like Scotland but it is stillcoming into power and is not fully implemented yet.Northern Ireland also got their own assembly in 1998 through the Northern IrelandAct 1998 they got an Assembly to legislate upon. However Northern Ireland had itsown Parliament until 1972 when Westminster’s Direct Rule was applied to them.

“As the violence got worse, particularly as a result of the events of BloodySunday on 30 January 1972, Edward Heath, the Prime Minister, informed Parliamentthat direct rule would be implemented. Stormont was indefinitely suspended on 30March 1972 by the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act. Even though the Northern Ireland Assembly was brought in to give power to thepeople westminster did suspend the assembly 4 times in its history of existence withthe longest suspension lasting just under 5 years.17A issue that arises from devolution is the ‘west lothian question’, this ‘question’considers that Members of the Scottish Parliament can vote on issues about Scotlandand they can vote on issues about England.

English MPs can vote on English mattersbut they cannot vote in the Scottish issues in the Scottish Parliament.In the Miller case the Lord Advocate argues that the Scottish Parliament and WelshAssembly did not have the power to veto the UK’s exit from the European Union andsince they don’t have the power to stop the UK they also agreed that neither doesNorthern Ireland have that power. This argument is correct because although the 18Scottish and the Welsh Government are permanent (or will be soon) they were givena list of reserved matters in which they cannot have a say or legislate on.

Since exitingthe EU is a foreign affair and the Scottish nor Welsh government’s cannot legislate onforeign affairs it gives them no right to stop the UK from leaving the EU. The fact thatthe devolved governments cannot legislate on foreign affairs doesn’t mean that thesewell convention is broken either. This is due to westminster not actually getting ridof the devolved governments or getting rid of any of their existing power. This is just areminder that devolved governments do not have the rights to get involved in foreignaffairs and therefore doesn’t break the convention. He Miller case is 100% correct inthis instance.

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