Violations of UK constitution?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Matt Black, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    This is not just for Bartholomew, InHim2002 and other Brits, but for anyone vaguely interested in UK constitutional affairs. There is an established principle of our constitution that major laws can only be enacted by Parliament and that Parliament cannot bind its successors. Two questions therefore as to the legality of the following:-

    1. The Human Rights Act 1999 which breaks the rule that Parliament cannot
    bind its successors by killing off its ability to debate and vote on eg
    capital punishment

    2. Scottish and Welsh devolution since, although Act of Parliament
    established the framework for the referenda, devolution was implemented by
    referendum and thus

    (a) repeals the Act of Union outwith Parliament
    (b) binds the successors of the 1998 Parliament

    Any thoughts?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. mioque

    mioque
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    As far as I knew the UK didn't even have a constitution in the traditional sense. :confused:
     
  3. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    It is not a single written document but has evolved over a number of centuries. Most of it can be found in written format in one place or another, either in the form of judicial precedent or Acts of Parliament.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  4. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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  5. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Hmm, methinks, Parliament drank too deeply at the fountains of California Populism (I thought Blair and Co. used Mr. Clinton as a model not Gov. Hiram Johnson) in the use of referendums. As for capitol punishment, progressive politics run amok gained a victory. It used to be it was the monarch who transgessed the Constitution. They wound up either losing their head or their crown.
     
  6. mioque

    mioque
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    It used to be if you slept with the monarch's wife, they would turn you into a eunuch, burn the 'evidence' of that 'transition' in front of your eyes and hang you.
    Those were the days. [​IMG]
     
  7. rsr

    rsr
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    As to (1): This seems to be true if the Act is organic law and cannot be abrogated unilaterally with proper notice (as is the case with its membership in the EU.)

    As to (2): The first appears to be true, though the supremacy of Parliament would seem to indicate that devolution, if indeed enacted with the blessing Parliament, trumps the actual requirement for a specific Act. Uncharted water, I admit. Had not WWI intervened, this issue might have arisen during the turmoil over Ulster.

    As to the second, while the inability to bind future Parliaments is enshrined in the Constitution, permanent commitments have been de facto, if not de jure, since the rapproachment between France and England during the reign of Edward VII; technically, the UK was not bound by such "understandings," but practically, abrogation would have been well nigh impossible politically.

    (I have the tattered remnants of a wonderful book, "The Strange Death of Liberal England" that I have read so many times that it has disintegrated, which deals with the Constitutional crises that preceded the Great War. Are you familiar with it?)
     
  8. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I'm not familiar with the book but am familiar with the constitutional crisis of 1909-11 which culminated in the Parliament Act 1911 which severely curbed the powers of the House of Lords. Brief background - Lloyd George's Liberal Budget of 1909 which was groundbreakingly socialist in content (eg:state-funded Old Age Pensions - I think Americans call this Social Security?)was rejected by the Lords, who were mainly Conservative in composition. As a consequence, the Liberals proposed a Bill to end the Lords' right of veto of legislation. The Lords, of course, rejected this. King George after two General Elections to ensure a popular mandate for the Bill threatened to appoint enough LIberal Lords to get the measure through, whereupon the Lords capitulated. The resultant Act merely gave the Lords a 3 year delaying power rather than a veto. Ironically, it was this delaying tactic that resulted in the Irish Question not being 'settled' until after WWI

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     

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