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Topic: British unwritten constitution

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In the News (Tue 18 Jun 19)

  Constitution of Canada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The composition of the Constitution of Canada is defined in section 52(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 as consisting of the Canada Act (including the Constitution Act, 1982), all acts and orders referred to in the schedule (including the Constitution Act, 1867), and any amendments to these documents.
The proclamation was considered as the de facto constitution of Quebec until 1774 when the British government passed the Quebec Act of 1774 which set out many procedures of governance in the area of Quebec.
The existence of an unwritten constitution was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in Reference re Secession of Quebec.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Constitution_of_Canada   (1274 words)

 Chapter 3: Comparative Perspectives   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
Constitutions are, in effect, the codification of the basic rules and procedures designed to regulate and control the balance between mathematical minorities and majorities within society.
Finally, the British constitutional tradition is clearly unentrenched in the political process of government because there are no formal requirements for enacting or amending the norms of the unwritten constitution.
Constitutions, while often overlooked and ignored by many modern students of political science, are invaluable windows into the political culture and formal power structure of any democracy, consensual or majoritarian.
www.wwnorton.com /wtp3e/ch3_comp_pers.htm   (515 words)

 Constitution Day - The Importance of Having a Constitution   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The United States has a constitution and is a constitutional government because it requires everyone regardless of position or office to abide by higher law.
When the British refer to the term constitution, they are referring to their collective legal traditions, including: the Magna Carta of 1215, the English Bill of Rights of 1687, Acts of Parliament, and the collective decisions of the British Courts (known as the common law).
The British Constitution and the Revolution: Although they saw many benefits of the unwritten British Constitution, the Founders argued that, without reducing basic principles of government to writing, they were too easy for rulers to manipulate.
www.uscourts.gov /outreach/importance.html   (539 words)

 The British Constitution - Studies on the Canadian Constitution and Canadian Federalism - Quebec History
Its constitution is made up of several documents, and of decisions and conventions that are for the most part unwritten.
The main characteristics of the British constitution applicable to Canada are that: 1) It is a constitutional monarchy.
The British constitution is said to be non-rigid because it can be changed at will by a simple act of Parliament.
www2.marianopolis.edu /quebechistory/federal/british.htm   (294 words)

 The Constitution of the State of Israel (1993)
Thus, in the American constitutional system, the conventions surrounding the Electoral College that morally bind presidential electors to follow the decision of the majority of the voters in their respective states are considered by Americans to be a matter of fundamental law, even though they are merely custom.
The world's modern constitutions can be classified according to five basic con-stitutional models: (1) the constitution as frame of government; (2) the constitution as code; (3) the constitution as revolutionary manifesto; (4) the constitution as political ideal; and (5) the constitution as a modern adaptation of an ancient traditional constitution.
There are scientific principles involved in the making of constitutions, as the fathers of the United States Constitution of 1787 demonstrated in their reliance on the "new science of politics," which had discovered such vital principles of republican regimes as separation of powers, federalism, and the institution of the presidency.
www.jcpa.org /dje/articles/const-intro-93.htm   (6537 words)

 Condoleeza's Nonsense About Democracy   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
Indeed, the genius of the British (unwritten) constitution was seen by most thoughtful American colonists as being in the way it combined the three forms of government to offset each other, the direct origin of the American concept of "checks and balances" by branches of government.
While the British franchise was then highly restricted, it was no less so in the early United States.
It is estimated that maybe 1% of the population could vote in early Virginia with all the restrictions of age, sex, race, and ownership of property.
www.rense.com /general50/condo.htm   (1263 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
They were aware of the dangers of a constitutional system in which there was no way to resolve disputes between the center and the peripheries -- between the general government and the states, in the American setting, or between the mother country and the colonies, in the British colonial context.
We must first understand what an unwritten constitution is: Great Britain's constitution is not like the United States Constitution in that it is not written down, or codified, in one authoriative document that was framed and adopted at a specific time, or revised by amendment at specific times.
These two understandings of the unwritten constitution clearly cannot coexist; the issue then arises which of the two conceptions of the British constitution is "correct." The problem is that no single person or institution has the final say in resolving such constitutional disputes.
revolution.h-net.msu.edu /essays/contro.html   (3170 words)

 The British Constitution   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The British Constitution is unwritten, unlike the constitution in America or the proposed European Constitution, and as such, is referred to as an uncodified constitution in the sense that there is no single document that can be classed as Britain's constitution.
Those who want a written constitution believe that it should be codified so that the public as a whole has access to it – as opposed to just constitutional experts who know where to look and how to interpret it.
Amendments to Britain’s unwritten constitution are made the same way – by a simply majority support in both Houses of Parliament to be followed by the Royal Assent.
www.historylearningsite.co.uk /british_constitution1.htm   (211 words)

 translation, french, english, canada, quebec, translator, quotes, web, design, english to french, translation, ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The situation may be contrasted with the written constitutional provisions of its American neighbour that provide for the separate elections of a president and a legislature.
As expressed in the constitution, "the Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen".
Residuary power – that is, all powers not specified in the constitution – resides with the federal government; the original intent of this provision was to avoid the sectionalism which had recently resulted in the American Civil War.
www.in2reach.com /countries/canada_gov.html   (1094 words)

 Pres. & Parl.: ENDNOTES   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The core of any constitutive system consists of an elected assembly whose members must, by definition, be "elected," by an electoral system, of course, and this normally also involves a party system.
Finally, the Przeworski approach focuses solely on the constitutive system -- it makes no reference to bureaucracy as a political force, and speaks of military rule as an unexplained fact of life which seems to be important only because military rulers prefer presidentialism when they decide to (re)establish democratic governance (p.48).
They might constitute an "addominium" in which a "heartland" could be conspicuously larger and more salient than the others, yet each member of the union would be equally self-governing.
www2.hawaii.edu /~fredr/6-lap9g.htm   (4189 words)

 Canada in the Making - Specific Events & Topics   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The Canadian Constitution is not just made up of written documents: it is also shaped by many conventions that have evolved over the years.
A constitution is generally defined as a set of rules that establish both the structure and the fundamental principles of the government in a nation or other territory.
Constitutional conventions were developed over time and are not outlined in any document.
www.canadiana.org /citm/specifique/written_e.html   (512 words)

 WAIS Documents
This constitutional crisis exploded when the Supreme Court derailed President Nixon's claim that he as President had the right to interpret the constitution.
British parliamentary history has been marked by measures which have reduced the House of Lords to an advisory role.
British constitutional tradition has been based on parliamentary sovereignty.
www.stanford.edu /group/wais/Constitution/constitution_BritishProblem.html   (564 words)

 Lingering Liberian Constitutional Issues
The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens; the British unwritten constitution, consisting of numerous legislative enactments specifically designated as “basic laws”; and the 1579 Act of Union of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, among others in Europe, were important developments in the process.
After completing the final daft of the document that was to become the official constitution of Liberia, the commissioners, with the approval of the PRC government, invited Professor Albert P. Blaustine of Rutgers University School of Law to serve as an adviser to the Commission.
The Constitution of the Republic of Liberia - 1983
www.theperspective.org /2005/mar/constititutionalissues.html   (4534 words)

 The role of the British Monarch   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
Whilst the British and Irish Heads of State perform similar roles such as signing Acts of Parliament into law and representing the Nation overseas, the Irish President is directly accountable via the ballot box and has certain direct powers as guardian of the Irish constitution.
In 1998 the British Monarch and her 'way forward' group are discussing possible reforms of the Monarchy in an attempt to face up to the challenges of the public’s reaction to the death of the popular Princess of Wales in August 1997.
There is no doubt that the British people, despite its recent difficulties, hold the British Monarchy with high esteem and fondness, or that the Queen and her heir do an excellent job in difficult circumstances.
www.geocities.com /Athens/Ithaca/1562/monarchy.html   (1722 words)

 Violence... The story so far » "Constitution" of the State of Israel - Road to Peace   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The world's modern constitutions can be classified according to five basic constitutional models: (1) the constitution as frame of government; (2) the constitution as code; (3) the constitution as revolutionary manifesto; (4) the constitution as political ideal; and (5) the constitution as a modern adaptation of an ancient traditional constitution.
The Constitution as Code: This model is characteristic of the Western European states whose constitutions are state codes designed to cope with an established order and established preexisting constituencies, not to speak of a preexisting state.
These constitutions often exclude certain "counterrevolutionary" or "corrupted" groups or classes from participation in the body politic as much as to define the rights, roles, and responsibilities of those who are entitled to participate.
www.roadtopeace.org /resources/governance/Israel_Constitution.htm   (6523 words)

 perfect.co.uk / A New British Constitution (1)
The constitutional historian Vernon Bogdanor has commented that, in the British system, the executive cannot be strong without a solid parliamentary majority but this view doesn’t account for the compactness of the Labour cadre, which contains many career politicians who depend on the leadership for a job.
Constitutions are complex and, despite claims, no nation has written out its constitution in full.
anyone studying our unwritten British constitution will find implicit in it the idea of leaders and led, the Hobbesian view that the role of government is to empower leaders, unbounded by any limitations, to deal with the threat to security posed by those who must be led.
www.perfect.co.uk /2005/06/a-new-british-constitution-1   (1418 words)

 Dunblane Massacre Resource Page - Letters Exchange With Alistair Darling MP re Bill of Rights 1688   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The second point you raise - it is a principle of the British constitution that one Parliament cannot bind its successor.
It seems that the British "unwritten constitution" is a "smoke and mirrors" job and Parliament got away with sneaking in at some point in history this bizarre doctrine of "the sovereignty of Parliament." Certainly the Parliament that passed the Bill of Rights in 1688-9 thought it could bind its successors.
Whatever the "constitutional" position, as a matter of practical fact, a bunch of dead people can't bind their successors in any meaningful sense, other than with an implied moral obligation when you are doing things in their name.
www.cybersurf.co.uk /~johnny/dunblane/letters2.html   (1455 words)

 POL 315, Comparative Politics: Europe   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
European Constitutional Documents: Excerpts, a collection of highlights of constitutional documents for Britain, France, Germany and Italy.
Britain has what is often labelled an "unwritten" constitution, which preserves a number of elements from its mediaeval past.
A constitution for the Union has now been provisionally adopted, but its ultimate fate remains to be seen.
www.redeemer.on.ca /academics/polisci/courses_pol315.html   (1364 words)

 The British Constitution in the Twentieth Century.
The “unwritten” constitution is really a reference to the fact that Britain’s constitution is not a particular document with “historical significance” (p.31).
All that said, there is one particular worry for legal theorists as a result of an unwritten constitution and that is the fact that “[t]he idea of a codified constitution, or even fundamental laws, by which executive or legislative decisions might be judged, was alien to both the royal prerogative and parliamentary sovereignty” (p.340).
One particular peculiarity of the British constitution is the position of Lord Chancellor.
www.bsos.umd.edu /gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/bogdanor605.htm   (2539 words)

 International Observatory of Labour Law   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
When the State of Israel was founded on May 14, 1948 it inherited the British-model unwritten constitution, which it has been slowly replacing with a written constitution.
This was considered a constitutional revolution and a significant departure from the British model of parliamentary supremacy to the American model of constitutional supremacy.
Constitutional rights are not absolute and may be limited by primary legislation, which furthers the values of the State of Israel and is intended for a proper purpose.
www.ilo.org /public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/ll/np_is.htm   (14619 words)

 Australian, British and American Political Systems Compared
The British system is 'unitary': the British parliament can make laws on any matter, local government has whatever powers the national government delegates to it.
The U.S. constitution has separation of powers, i.e., the members of the Executive (in our terms, the Government) do not have seats in Congress or participate in its sessions, and they are not removable by Congress and cannot dissolve Congress.
Parts of the British constitution are 'written', not only in text books but also in the statute book, e.g., the Parliament Act of 1911, and parts of our constitution (and also of the U.S. constitution) consist in conventions (some of which are written down, though not in the statute book).
www.humanities.mq.edu.au /Ockham/y67xan1.html   (648 words)

 ConstInfo Site - Constitutions of Other Countries
The drafters of the Commonwealth Constitution fused some ideas from the Constitution of the United States of America with some of the principles of the (unwritten) British Constitution, and added an amendment method closely based on that in the Constitution of Switzerland.
Today, if we want to enter into informed Constitutional debate we should be aware of the ideas that have been incorporated into the Constitutions of other countries.
Constitutions in the Americas from the Political Database of the Americas at Georgetown University
ozconstinfo.freehomepage.com /othercon.html   (372 words)

 COPING WITH MODERNITY, ENDNOTES   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The rules governing the exercise of the representative functions are normally stated in a charter that is often misnamed a "constitution." In my usage, the fundamental rules of any organization or regime characterize its constitution, and such regimes may or may not have a charter -- as in the British "unwritten constitution."
Critics of this opinion may well argue that constitutional monarchs and the elected presidents in parliamentary republics can and do serve as heads of state, and that this office is not superfluous.
They might constitute an "addominium" at the non- governmental level, a "heartland" unit might be conspicuously larger and more salient than the others, yet each member of the union would be self-governing.
www2.hawaii.edu /~fredr/6-mstzf.htm   (4214 words)

 Taxation without representation U.S. History
Those courts were not much liked by the settlers for two obvious reasons; At first they violated the colonials right to a jury trial by their peers, and second those courts put the burden of proof on the defendants, assuming that they were guilty until they provided evidence to the contrary.
Richard Kezirian goes on to say, "The settlers believed that the continued high British troop level was intended to intimidate the colonials themselves." He claims that by 1776 American distrust of the British had grown so large that Americans would not have accepted taxation with representation.
From a strictly British standpoint one can only agree with Richard Kezirian and therefor I think that England was not wrong in doing what they were doing.
www.schonwalder.org /USHistory/UShistory19.htm   (286 words)

 221_w3_2002.html   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-15)
The constitution is often said to be "the supreme law of the land." This can be taken to mean two different things.
The judiciary is the branch of the state charged with interpreting the constitution and other laws and with applying them by issuing rulings in cases brought before it and by supervising the conduct of trials.
The second fall out of the constitutional debates of the 1980s and 1990s was the introduction of the referendum principle.
www.sfu.ca /~dcohn/221_w3_2002.html   (2620 words)

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