What have the events around UK’s decision not to participate in international action against Syria demonstrated about the nature of the UK constit...

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The question deals with the nature of the constitution of the United Kingdom with relation to the roles of the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. This essay will address the above issues, with reference to the United Kingdom’s hesitation to take part in a military intervention in Syria. It will also discuss the United Kingdom’s application of the conceptual doctrines of the rule of law, participatory democracy, and human rights, along with its inclination towards a more democratic, codified constitution in accordance with the concept of constitutionalism. The state of affairs in Syria was the trigger for the debate in which the United Kingdom displayed its hesitation for military intervention. Syria has been the centre of attention in the international community since the protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011. Beginning with small scale insurgences, the violence escalated, until it crossed an important threshold, when the international Red Cross formally declared it a civil war a year and a half later. A chemical attack just outside the Syrian capital, Damascus, was confirmed by United Nations inspectors, causing an outburst of international outrage. Many leaders argued the demand for intervention, such as the governments of America and France, who were insisting on a slightly militant approach. Russia on the other hand, a strong ally of Syria, was not in favour of military mediation, and ultimately managed to make a deal with the United States to eliminate Syria’s stockpile of chemical weaponry. The issue brought before the House of Commons on the 29th of August, was to decide whether Britain should take part in a military intervention in Syria. This motion, put forth by the British... ... middle of paper ... ...ntary sovereignty: law, politics, and revolution’ (1997) 113 LQR 433 European Communities Act 1972, ss 2 and 18 Tom Whitehead, ‘Politicians to blame for human rights rulings, says judge‘ The Telegraph (London, 29 March 2011) < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8412152/Politicians-to-blame-for-human-rights-rulings-says-judge.html> accessed 16 January 2014 Factortame Ltd and others v Secretary of State for Transport (No 2) - [1991] 1 All ER 70 R (Jackson) v Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56 Pickin v British Railways Board [1974] AC 763 (Lord Reid) Bill of Rights 1689 Hillaire Barnett, Constitutional and Administrative Law, (9th edn, Routledge 2011) 198 Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (first published 1867) 90 A. W. Bradley and K. D. Ewing, Constitutional and Administrative Law, (15th edn, Pearson Education Limited, 2011) 233

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