Chapter 6- The constitution Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 6- The constitution Deck (20):

What does a constitution aim to do?

- Comprises the laws, rules and practices by which a state is governed
- sets out formal r
- Framework for the political system
- Establishes main institutions of government and determines where the decision making authority resides
- Protects basic rights of citizens (Bill of rights)


Why is a constitution important in a liberal democracy?

Defence against the abuse of power by the state and its institutions


What system does having a constitution uphold?

Limited Government


Is the constitution static?

No, the rules and practices will become adapted to suit the changing circumstances


What do we mean by constitution neutrality and is the constitution neutral?

Constitution neutral means that the framework they provide (for example the electoral system) will favour some actors and others seek to change it and no, we are not neutral


What is constitutionalism?

Theory and practice of government according to the rules and principles of constitution


When does the government act in an unconstitutional manner?

When the actions are not in accord with the principles and practices set out in the constitution


What is the UK's constitution status?



What does this statement mean "A codified constitution has the status of fundamental law or higher law"

It places the codified constitution above any ordinary law made by the legislature which announces a two-tier legal system whereby the constitution has higher status than other law


Who decides whether any provisions have been violated?

Constitutional or supreme court


What makes it harder to change the provisions of a codified constitution?

Entrenched meaning that it has to undergo special procedures in order to amend it


What is the key way in which the UK's constitution can be amended?

Act of parliament- british constitution is reducible to what parliament enacts


Are parliament restricted in terms of what they can amend and what they can't?

No constitutional "no go" areas


What limits judicial review in the UK?

Parliamentary sovereignty and uncodified constitution


What does an uncodified constitution possess an issue?

No definitive criterion for determining what is unconstitutional


What are the five sources of the British constitution?

- Statute law
- Common law
- Conventions
- Authoritative works
-European Law


Who creates statute law?



What is the process before statute laws are placed in the statute book?

Approved by:
- Monarch

Implemented by executive and enforced by courts


Why is statue law the most important source of principles and rules making up the British constitution?

Parliament is the sovereign body


Examples of statute law that have been of constitutional importance

- Great Reform Act (1832) extended the franchise
- Parliament Act (1911) established HOC as the dominant chamber of parliament
- European Communities Act (1972) UK joined the EEC