Should the United Kingdom Adopt a Written Constitution?

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ESSAY QUESTION: SHOULD THE UK ADOPT A WRITTEN CONSTITUTION? First of all, In order to full explain if the UK should adopt a written constitution we need to define the meaning of a constitution. Duhaime.org defines a constitution “as the basic fundamental law of a state which sets at how that state will be organized and the powers and authorities of government between different political units and citizens.” Macmillianditionary.com goes on to define a constitution “as a set of basic laws or principles for a country that describe the rights and duties of its citizens and the way in which it is governed”. I personally define a constitution as the body of rules set in place in order for that particular society to follow and it also guides that society.

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Now, we need to know how many types of constitution there is. There are three main types of the constitution which are:

  1. The written constitution.
  2. The unwritten constitution.
  3. Flexible/Rigid constitution.

Basically, we will be focusing on just two types of the constitution which is the Written & Unwritten constitutions. For us to fully grasp this question we need to know what a written and unwritten constitution are: WRITTEN & UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION Before we go any further, we need to know what a written and an unwritten actually are;

  1. Written constitution: I would define a written constitution as the body of rules is written and can also be found in one single document. Politics.co.uk defines the written constitution “as a formal document which defines the nature of the constitutional settlement, the rules that govern the political system and the rights of citizens and government in a codified form”.

Examples of countries that use a written constitution:

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Nigeria

Advantages of a written constitution:

  • It is easily accessible
  • The references of a written constitution can be made for the written document and any breach of the principles that are contained in the written constitution will obviously become unconstitutional.
  • It can control the arbitrary rule in a way that it checks on the authority of the head of state so that he would not be able to abuse his authority.
  • It consists of all the basic laws as well as the concepts will all be in one single document.

Disadvantages of a written constitution:

  • Cannot be easily amended
  • Sometimes in an autocratic state, the leaders try and change some of the laws that are in the written constitution, in order for it to suit their personal needs.

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