Britain has an uncodified constitution. This means that it is constituted from a variety of sources, including: Statute Law, Common Law, Conventions, Royal Prerogative, External Relations and Works of Authority. Of these sources, many are uncodified, meaning they are not written down. This contrasts to a codified constitution like that of the United States in which the vast majority of constitutional rules are contained within the US Constitution which was signed in Philadelphia in 1787.Continue reading
Few days in Parliament have had the drama of the 28th March 1979. On this day, the government of Labour leader James Callaghan fell after it lost a motion of no confidence in the House of Commons. Consequently, the 1979 General Election was held which ushered in 18 years of Conservative Government.Continue reading
Putting forward a Ten Minute Rule Bill is an important mechanism through which a backbench MP can, at least theoretically, try to make a substantive impact on government policy.Continue reading
What is meant by the Peerage?
The peerage is the system of hereditary titles within the United Kingdom, some of which date back centuries (for example, the Earldom of Arundel was created in 1138).
In medieval times the distribution of titles was an important mechanism for keeping control under the Feudal System. The monarch would grant lands and title in return for the support of the Dukes and Barons in keeping law and order across his Kingdom. In more recent times, the creation of peerages has often been as a recognition of exceptional service to the nation. For example, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was created Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in 1946. His son and grandson have since inherited the title.Continue reading
The House of Lords is one of the oldest institutions in the world. Its origins lay in the early 11th century, when King’s of England consulted the Witan, a national council of nobles and bishops, that advised the King.Continue reading