Salient Features of British Constitution

Thu, 03/14/2013 - 04:58 -- Umar Farooq

Salient Features of the British Constitution

Following are some salient features of the British constitution

Mostly Unwritten and Partly Written

By far the most important feature of British constitution is its unwritten character. There is no such thing as written, precise and compact document, which may be called the British constitution. It was really this aspect of the British constitution that led De Tocqueville to remark that English constitution does not really exist. The main reason for this is that it is based on conventions and political traditions, which have not been laid down in any document. However, it has some written parts too which includes Historical Documents, Parliamentary Statues, Judicial Decisions and Constitutional Characters, e.g. Magna Carta (1215), Petition of Rights (1628), Bill of Rights (1689), Parliamentary Act of 1911 & 1949 etc. Also Read: Indian Constitution

British Constitution is Evolutionary

The British constitution is a specimen of evolutionary development. It was never framed by any constituent assembly. No precise date of its birth can be given and no definite body of persons can claim to be its authors, because it is the product of gradual growth and development. It has an unbroken continuity of development over a period of more than thousand years. Its sources are several and the course of its development has been sometimes guided by accidents and sometimes by high designs.

Flexible Constitution

The British constitution is a classic example of flexible constitution. It can be passed, amended and repealed by simple majority of Parliament since no distinction is made between a constitutional law and an ordinary law. Both are treated alike. The element of flexibility has length the virtue of adaptability and adjustability to the British constitution. This quality has enabled it to grow with the needs of time.

Unitary

The British constitution has unitary character as opposed to a federal one. All powers of the government are vested in the British Parliament, which is a sovereign body. The executive organs of state are subordinate to it and exercise delegated powers and are answerable to it. There is only one legislature. England, Scotland, Wales etc. are administrative units and not political autonomous units.

Parliamentary Executive

England has a Parliamentary form of government. The King who is sovereign has been deprived of all his powers and authority. The real functionaries are Ministers who belongs to the majority party in Parliament and remain in office so long as they retain its confidence. The Prime Minister and his Ministers are responsible to the legislature for their acts and policies. In this system the executive and legislature are not separated as in the federal form of government

Sovereignty of Parliament

A very important feature of the British constitution is sovereignty of Parliament. Parliament is the only I4slative body in the country with unfettered powers of legislation can make, amend or repeal any law it likes. The courts have no purer to question the validity of the laws passed by British Parliament. It can also amend constitution on its own authority like ordinary law of the land. It can make illegal what is legal and legalize what is illegal.

Rule of Law


Related pages


keynes consumption theoryfallacy of composition examples economicsdefenition of federalismwhat is the law of diminishing utilitysegmentation definition in marketingadvantages and disadvantages of international tradepsychological pricing advantages and disadvantagesfactors of production in microeconomicsdisadvantages of marketing concepteconomics fallaciesdemocracy disadvantagesetymology of political sciencemarketing 4p definitiondefine bartarbarter trade systemfreud components of personalitymeaning of stagflationadvantages and disadvantages of sex education in schoolsskimming pricing strategy definitiondefinition of inflationaryminicomputers examplesaristotle biography in urduvertical marketing system examplespsychosexual theory by freudabstinence only education pros and consteacher centered approach to learningwhat is the meaning of encodermeaning of diseconomies of scalelaw of diminishing return definitiondef indemnityaccidental sampling exampleapple strength and weaknesstheory x and theory y of douglas mcgregorbcg matrix exampleswhat is meant by deviancemodel of consumer buyer behaviorquestionnaires disadvantagespiagets stages of cognitive developmenttheory x and y by douglas mcgregorsociology of religion weberdivine monarchyindia is federal or unitarydevelopmental socialization definitionwhat is the meaning of encodermacroenvironmental factorsscheduled meaning in hindicharacteristic of sovereigntyuses of mainframe computerscultural lag exampleadvantages and disadvantages of a sole proprietorshiparistotle evolution theorysole proprietorships advantages and disadvantagesdefine minicomputerswhat does codify mean in lawtheory of carl rogersswot analysis applesteps in inductive method of teachingbureaucracy weber definitionadvantages of backward integrationdefinition of nuclear family in sociologydefinition of impression managementmcdonalds swothorizontal integration companies exampleswhat is sanctions in sociologymeaning of gender inequalitydefine intergenerational mobilitymarketing mix 4p definitionsecularism indian constitutioncommunism kid definitionpiaget cognitive developmental stagesmarketing intermediaries examplesbarter system meaningdisadvantages of trait theoryboston consulting group matrix exampleswot appledefinition of kinship systemdefinition barterpros of democracy governmentdefinition of an idealist