Discussing the British Constitution: Strengths and Weaknesses Essays

Submitted By mserwaah11
Words: 801
Pages: 4

“The British constitution overall has more strengths than weaknesses” Discuss.

A constitution is the set of rules which aim to govern the government. It establishes a framework of rules which are meant to check or constrain government so therefore it gives practical expression to the principle of limited government; which is a form of government where government power in subject to limitations and checks providing protection for the individual. Having an uncodified constitution, the UK has faced some disputes on whether its constitution has more strengths than weaknesses. In order to assess and conclude whether the UK’s uncodified constitution includes more strengths than weaknesses, both of those areas have to be carefully evaluated.
Some may agree that the UK constitution has been defended on a number of grounds, so therefore has more strengths than weaknesses. One of the paramount strengths of the UK constitution is that it is flexible and easy to change. Having a constitution which isn’t entrenched, the UK has the advantage to alter the constitution according to political and societal conditions. Also by not having an entrenched constitution, the UK’s constitution is continually up-to-date and relevant. The flexibility of the UK’s constitution allows a faster approach in enforcing an Act of Parliament in comparison to the US constitution. For example, the introduction of devolution was a response to rising nationalism in Scotland and Wales. This evidently shows that the strengths of the UK constitution subdue its weaknesses. However those who argue that the UK has no constitution often contend that a nation’s constitution must be distinguished from and superior to other laws and must entrench its basic provisions so that they cannot be easily modified by those it is intended to regulate. Detractors of the UK constitution also point out that sometimes it’s difficult to know what the constitution says, because the constitutional rules are not hard and fast. This applies particularly to the constitution’s unwritten elements. Critics of the UK constitution conclude that a constitution must be a written, largely self-contained document, because without it the system of rules governing institutional arrangements and limiting state power would be too short-lived and uncertain to be considered a true constitution. If these arguments are accepted, the UK certainly does not have a constitution, because there are no constitutional rules that are differentiated from other areas of law; no laws that cannot be changed or abandoned by a simple majority vote in Parliament; and no single, recognisable document that is widely accepted as a methodical statement of the basic doctrines of British constitutional law. People with this approach will disagree that the constitution has more strengths than weaknesses within it.
The value and significance of the British constitution comes from its history and tradition. This is the argument most commonly associated with conservative thinkers. In the view of the Conservatives, a key strength of the constitution is that, being based on tradition and custom, it links to present generations to past generations. Some people see the historical and traditional aspect of the constitution as a benefit because they feel that it still holds historical authority over the state. Constitutional rules and principles have…