There are three Crown dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The first two are generally known as the Channel Islands.
book reviews cases Church of England citizenship conservatism constitutional conventions constitutional principles constitutional reform Crown dependencies devolution electoral reform European Convention on Human Rights European Union executive history House of Commons House of Lords human rights judiciary monarchy Northern Ireland old documents Parliament parliamentary sovereignty prime minister Privy Council referendums Reform Acts religion royal prerogative statutes Wales
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
The traditional view of an MP's role has been that he (and it always was a "he") was not the proxy or delegate of his constituents, but was rather entitled and obliged to take an independent view on policy questions that might conflict with his constituents' preferences.
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Saturday, 16 July 2011
In my last post, I considered the Salisbury convention - the convention that the Lords does not reject bills that have been trailed in the government's election manifesto. The Lords has never breached this convention, but it has occasionally voted down pieces of legislation.
Walter Bagehot famously wrote in The English Constitution (1867) that the British monarch has three rights: the rights to be consulted, to encourage and to warn.
One theme found in the classical writings on the British constitution is that it represents a balanced combination of monarchic, aristocratic and democratic rule. The combination of the King, the Lords and the Commons was said to provide the best possible form of government.
Friday, 15 July 2011
Following my last post on this subject, I want to look at the way in which the Lords conceived its role in the latter part of the 19th century, with particular reference to the theories of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.
From Sir William Anson, The Law and Custom of the Constitution (1897):
The Commons is the dominant chamber of Parliament, though the House of Lords is conventionally referred to as the "upper house" (and Halsbury's Laws politely calls it the "senior" house). How did the predominance of the Commons originate?
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Occasionally, mistakes are made in granting Royal Assent to Bills. It appears that the practice has been to rectify these mistakes by means of further legislation. The following is from Frederick Clifford's A History of Private Bill Legislation (1885):
The UK does not have a codified constitution, but certain statutes have been singled out over the years as possessing a special constitutional importance or status (the most famous being the iconic statute - or quasi-statute - known as Magna Carta).
Friday, 1 July 2011
From Popular Government (1886):