Essay Constitutional and Administrative Law

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Constitutional and Administrative Law

In the UK, the constitution claims to be democratic in that it aims to ensure that the government's authority is derived from the consent of the people. At the very heart of a democracy lies the concept that the electorate is able to see their views represented and their wishes fulfilled by their elected government. As the British constitution evolved, so to did the need to weave genuine democratic ideals into the fabric of our constitution. The integration of these democratic concepts into an evolving constitution has been a gradual process and can be seen as recently as the Reform Act (1867). The changing landscape of British life, namely the period of
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Our constitution has the role of bringing together various institutions to form a complete government within our state. The UK constitution has several key characteristics, the first of which is that it is unwritten. That is to say there is no single, or group of, documents containing the constitution (unlike France and the US). Our constitution is instead based upon a mixture of ordinary laws (common law, precedent and legislation), customs and practices, the most important of which are called conventions. Conventions, although not legally enforceable, are treated as though they were and consequently the UK constitution would be unrecognisable without them as the whole edifice of government and the cabinet is determined by conventions. For example, the office of Prime Minister originates entirely from convention as opposed to law and was first mentioned in statute in the Chequers Estate Act (1917). Similarly, convention dictates that the government of the day must resign if they do not have the confidence of the House of Commons.

One of the central characteristics of our constitution, according to Dicey, is our adherence to the rule of law. The importance of the rule of law lies in its ability to diminish the arbitrary exercise of power by subjecting all those concerned to legal rules which are impartially enforced. In essence this means that it is

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