Timed after 3 hours of revision
45 mins revision on each topic in full
The British Constitution
1. Judicial review is a procedure by which a person who has been affected (negatively) by a particular decision or action of a public authority and can make an application to the High Court, which can justify or give justice if it decides that the authority has acted unlawfully. Judicial review is not focused with the points of the decision, but whether the public body has acted lawfully. Judicial review cases have increased dramatically in looking at legislation due to the UK being in the EU and the Human Rights Act of 1998. Currently judicial review is being checked upon due to people in prison with full-life sentences disagreeing with the decision saying it is against their Human rights to spend their lives in prison.
2. The extract states that the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 created a Supreme Court which has effectively removed the judicial functions from the House of Lords and this has created a larger separation of powers in the UK. Separation of Powers is the idea that the judiciary, legislative and the core executive are different bodies and do not overlap in line with jobs and power that they have therefore there should be no influence politically over certain aspects such as judicial decisions. Since the Constitutional Reform Act the House of Lords (which is a chamber of the legislative) has had all judicial powers and functions removed and the Supreme Court has now been put in place for things such as judicial review. This helps keep separation of Powers and then the House of Lords cannot use the Supreme Court to influence laws that they did not want in place. Previously the Appellate Committee of The House Of Lords was seen as a court but now that has been removed and since the 2005 Act replacement of Lord Chancellor by Lord Chief Justice as head of Judiciary so that it is not controlled by a member of the Legislative or the Executive.
3. There is increasing debate in the United Kingdom about whether it should adopt a written constitution or not. A written, or codified, constitution is one where the rules by which the government operates are written in a single document. It would give us a set of fundamental laws which are higher than standard UK statute law, the ordinary Act of Parliament, and, as such, would make the constitution much harder to alter. Currently Britain has an unwritten, or uncodified constitution. The only part of Britain’s laws that are codified are the ones put in place by the EU such as the Human Rights Act 1998. This means that while the government does have a set of rules to operate by, it is not written in one document, and can be altered by any Act of Parliament. This situation gives Britain several advantages and disadvantages.
Many believe that the UK's current system is stable and that the country is strong, so they ask why the UK should bother to change it. Britain have never had the kind of crisis or event that has forced most countries into creating a codified constitution, such as France or the USA. This is a sign of strength in Britain's adaptive and flexible constitution. It can easily reflect the beliefs of the day, as the government can change the constitution to fit its purpose and culture. Beyond that, Parliamentary scrutiny and electoral scrutiny can ensure that our nation is never altered to breaking point. A point in case being the attempt by Tony Blair's New Labour government to introduce the capability of the state to detain an individual for 90 days without charging them with a crime. That idea was defeated by the House of Commons, despite a strong majority being Blair's government. Those who oppose a written constitution say, is the nature of our governmental system, governments needn't have to abide by some higher law, as they can't push the country further than it wishes although we are moving in the direction of further codification, as…