Chapter 8 - Outline

Chapter 8 - Outline - Chapter 8: Britain Governance and...

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Chapter 8: Britain Governance and Policymaking Outline The Constitution Notable for 2 reasons o Form Lacks a formal written constitution No single unified and authoritative text that has special status above ordinary law and can be amended only by special procedures. Combination of statutory law (acts of Parliament), common law, convention and authoritative interpretations. These acts define the relationship with the Crown, the rights governing the relationship between state and citizen, the relationship of constituent nations to the UK and the relationship of the UK to the EU. o Antiquity Hard to know where conventions and acts of parliament began Date back to the 17 th century, notably the 1689 Bill of Rights – these define the relationship between the monarchy and Parliament. The paradox of the constitution, live in a modern world, guided by ancient laws Britain has two unelected hereditary institutions, unique in Western democracies, the Crown and the House of Lords. Rules of conduct, rather than law or US style checks and balances, set the limits of governmental power. Organization of the State Parliamentary Sovereignty - means that Parliament can overturn any law; the executive, the judiciary, and the throne do not have any authority to restrict or rescind parliamentary action. The sovereignty of parliament has been someone limited by the decision to pass the 1972 European Communities Act which restricts and limits Parliaments power to act on some matters.
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o As a result of signing, it is acknowledged that European law has force in the United Kingdom without requiring parliamentary assent and acquiesced to the authority of the European Court of Justice to resolve jurisdiction disputes. Parliamentary sovereignty has also been limited by Blair devolving some power to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland creating a quasi-federal system. The UK has long been a unitary state with no power constitutionally reserved for subcentral units of government. Constitutional reform has devolved some power Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland by creating legislative bodies in these areas. Some powers have also been distributed from the Westminster Parliament to an authority governing London with a directly elected mayor. Britain operates within a system of fusion of powers at the national level; Parliament is
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSCI 000 taught by Professor Hongkong during the Spring '07 term at Mary Washington.

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Chapter 8 - Outline - Chapter 8: Britain Governance and...

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