Category Archives: Relations Between Branches

Is the UK constitution becoming increasingly codified?

Britain does not have a singular founding document like the US.

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.

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Urgent Questions – What are they and how important are they as a mechanism of parliamentary scrutiny?

John Bercow is a major reason for the growth of Urgent Questions.

Until relatively recently Urgent Questions were a rarely used parliamentary device. However, in recent years, their use has grown dramatically, largely as the Speaker John Bercow was keen to consider ways in which, he could “champion the rights of backbenchers”. This article seeks to explain what Urgent Questions are, when they are granted and how big an impact they have on the ability of parliament to scrutinise the executive.

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Book Review – Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics

This is an interesting little book. Short, with only 112 pages, it really encompasses Sumption’s views on Britain’s democratic system and the role of law within it. Alongside it being a gentle but generally enjoyable read, not a chapter went by where I didn’t think it would make ideal extension reading for a sixth form student.

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