The British Constitution: The Constitution Of The United Kingdom

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A constitution is a set of laws defining the allocation, limitation, regulation of governmental power. This power, in most liberal democracies, is separated among the three branches of the state – the legislative, the judiciary and the executive. The importance of a constitution could not be overemphasized in every country, typically in liberal democracies. Its key functions include establishing the central structure of the state’s government, granting and controlling the governmental power, and determining the way of which the government of the nation interact with its people. The existence of the constitution of the United Kingdom, however, is highly controversial due to its peculiar nature. This essay, applying a positivist approach, regard…show more content…
In his comparative study of the constitutional law, Ridley advanced that the United Kingdom, in fact, does not have a constitution. He mentioned the lack of distinction between the ‘constitutional law’ and ‘ordinary law’, as the formal can be easily changed as, and even repealed by, the latter. This is due to the fact that the British constitution distinguishes itself from other nation with an absence of a special legal mechanism to allow amendments in the constitutions; instead, constitutional rules in the United Kingdom are subsequently replaced or modified when an ordinary Act of Parliament is passed. This reflects the decisive role of parliament in the establishment and development of constitution in the United Kingdom. The legal doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty is, nonetheless, criticized by Ridley, as he believes the constitution should be prior to, “outside and above” the system of government, given that the power of government should be distributed by constitution. Adopting a different approach, Anthony King, by placing less emphasis on the prior existence of constitution, argued that in the context of British constitution, the government is the
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