THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland.

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


  • Slide 1
  • THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland
  • Slide 2
  • XIII CENTURY 1215: barons limit the Kings power through a document called Magna Charta set of guarantees for the individual Magnum Concilium is summoned and comes into being the Parliament: Lords, shires and boroughs together Two Houses (House of Commons and House of Lords separate) THE CONSTITUTION IN HISTORY
  • Slide 3
  • XVII CENTURY Conflict between monarchy and Parliament 1649: King Charles I execution 1688: Glorious Revolution (or Bloodless Revolution); William dOrange becomes the new sovereign elected by Parliament 1689: Bill of Rights; the King has to conform to the laws of the Parliament without having permission to suspend them single individual and two Houses freedom 1701: Act of Settlement the Parliament establishes the rules for the succession to the throne; England and Scotland under the same crown. THE CONSTITUTION IN HISTORY
  • Slide 4
  • XVIII CENTURY the Cabinet (highest rank of the Kings advisors) grows in autonomy from the King and follows the majority of the Parliament principle of the common law executed by the Parliament through impeachment: ministers are responsible for the Kings acts Prime Minister gets a main position THE CONSTITUTION IN HISTORY
  • Slide 5
  • XIX CENTURY England (and imperialism) becomes a world power and industrial middle- classes lead society: liberty of associationism; recognition of the Trade Unions; equality of rights for the Catholics Debate for the universal suffrage: in 1832 the Great Reform Act limits extension of the right to vote; great industrial cities can have representatives at the House of Commons 1867-1884: extension of the suffrage (2,5 million people); two main factions: the Whig (liberal thought) and the Tory (nowadays conservatives) The Victorian Age: parliamentary Government form representatives decide for the country and the Government is dependent on the Houses THE CONSTITUTION IN HISTORY
  • Slide 6
  • PARTIES which stand out against the others 1918: universal suffrage Welfare States development Leading position of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister CURRENT GOVERNMENT FORM: THE WESTMINSTER MODEL OF DEMOCRACY Conservative Party (XVIII century) Labour Party (late XIX century) 1914: leads the Government with a liberal thought faithful to the leader who intends to follow the election plan
  • Slide 7
  • TWO HOUSES House of Commons election mechanism: Plurality or First-Past-The-Post divisione in 659 collegi corrispondenti ai seggi da attribuire One candidate for each the candidate with the highest number of votes wins the election CURRENT GOVERNMENT FORM: THE WESTMINSTER MODEL OF DEMOCRACY
  • Slide 8
  • Cons: Deep difference between votes and number of polling stations Penalization of the third party, the Liberal democratics (Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party together): lots of votes but not many polling stations CURRENT GOVERNMENT FORM: THE WESTMINSTER MODEL OF DEMOCRACY
  • Slide 9
  • THE CONSTITUTION There is not a written constitutional text in the United Kingdom Rigid constitutional rules do not exist: every single rule can be altered by a law approved by the Parliament There are normative and consuetudinary principles (which can be modified) fundamental to maintain the systems efficiency Constitution: institutions attribution, their reciprocal relations and their relations with citizens
  • Slide 10
  • Constitutions principles Sovereignty of the Parliament (above all the institutions) Rule of law Late twentieth century: the Parliament authority slowly began to decrease the UK enters the EU (1973) European convention of human rights large use of referendum equality in front of laws fundamental liberties guaranteed institutional organs must act according to laws citizens are required to observe laws
  • Slide 11
  • RECENT CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS (from 1997: labors come back to power lead by Tony Blair) Human Rights Act (1998): United Kingdom incorporates European Convention of Human Rights catalogue of citizens rights and liberties House of Lords Act (1999): hereditary seats are removed; creation of a second elective house of Lords c.d. devolution Scotland Act 1998: creation of the Scottish Parliament Government of Wales Act e Northern Ireland Act (1998): primary and secondary normative meetings in the Wales and Northern Ireland Greater London Authority Act 1999: new metropolitan district in London; mayor and assemblies are elective
  • Slide 12
  • RECENT CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS (from 1997: labors come back to power lead by Tony Blair) Additional Member System Large use of referendum Courts apply juridical rules according to the Convention without basing on the literal interpretation criterion Constitutional Reform Act 2005: the Lord Chancellor is deprived of some juridical remits; creation of the Supreme Court of United Kingdom in place of the Law Lords
  • Slide 13
  • LAWS all the constitutional rules can be adapted by ordinary laws the term law does not include written sources (constitutionally and parliamentary); it regards rules applied in courtrooms delegated legislation: Governments normative work who acts on the Statutory Instrument Act 1946 (a rule, before the execution, has to be presented to the Parliament who can ask for a negative resolution) English juridical system includes: a Corpus of traditional rules (common law and equity law) European or parliamentary rules


View more >