Should the UK Adopt a Written Constitution?

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Should the UK adopt a written constitution? A constitution is the commonly acknowledged body of principles or established regulations and procedure to which nation states are governed by and recognised within Parliament. Britain, along with Israel and New Zealand, is one of only 3 democracies in the world not to have a written constitution (Consoc, 2009, NP). Constitutions come in two commonly accepted forms of written and unwritten, and can often be referred to as ‘codified (written) and un-codified (unwritten)’. Nation states’ constitutional acts compose of laws, traditions and general codes to which that country abides by;they are ‘the rules that govern the political system and the rights of citizens and governments in a codified form’(politics, 2004, NP). Constitutions are important and necessary because they are the guidelines by which governments are controlled, and it can be suggested that constitutional acts can bring more power to the general public. Although the United Kingdom does not have one formal written document it does have many notable constitutional documents such as: EU Law, and Common Law, ‘along with the 1689 act of rights that defines powers of Parliament through the Monarch’ (politics, 2004, NP). It has been suggested that the British constitution can be summed ‘in eight words: what the Queen and Parliament enact is law’ (UCL, 2015, NP). On one hand, written constitutions are often understood to be more reliable for the people of a nation as they ‘provide greater accountability and democracy’ (Rishman, 2015, p.1).Most European and Common Wealth countries employ a written constitution on the basis that ‘it is the defining essence of a country’ (Rishman, 2015, p.1). On the other hand, some written constitutions include irrelevant, outdated guidelines that are in no way applicable to today’s society; an example being the US constitution which still includes ‘material regarding the rights of slave owners’ (Rishman, 2015, p.1), although these provisions have long been dormant it is easy to see the risk or offence they could provoke. There is considerable debate as to ‘whether a written constitution ought to be introduced in order to align the UK with other nations’ (Consoc, 2009, NP). Although it can be argued that, on the basis of the documents already provided, Britain and The UK does not need a formal written constitution as it has survived to a satisfactory level for hundreds of years without the service of a written constitution. In addition, countries which do not have a written constitution are usually noted to have unwritten constitution, also known as un-codified constitutions. The name of ‘unwritten constitution’ is often misleading as it suggests that a country has no written constitution to bind or protect its people and government, which is usually not the case. An un-codified system is a constitution in which the fundamental guidelines and regulations of a country comes from the customs, traditions, usage and statutes of a country’s legal system: ‘The “Unwritten Constitution” refers to the ideas and processes that are accepted as a needed part of government’ (DeLorenzo,

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