UK Constitution - time to write it down?

Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice, has reversed his position on the need for the UK's constitution to be amended. Previously he believed that, "our unwritten constitution, supported by conventions and checks and balances, provided all the protection which the judiciary and therefore the citizen, required to uphold the proper administration of justice." The Guardian reports today that the Government has ruled out a written constitution after Woolf called for changes - Falconer rules out written constitution.

Referring the the government's plans to abolish the position of lord chancellor - currently also filled by Lord Falconer - and create a supreme court, Lord Woolf said: "The fact that changes of the scale now taking place can be decided upon without legislation _ is disturbing. It does suggest that additional constitutional protection may be necessary."

A system such as our which relies on Constitutional conventions and some written documents rather than relying on the judiciary to interpret an entrenched rule-book is more democratic than other systems. The power lies, as it should, in the hands of the people (expressed through their elected representatives) who, with political support, can change provisions as and when it is thought to be necessary. We don't need, nor is it particularly desirable to have, a written constitution for this country.

Posted by Paul at December 8, 2003 04:00 PM |
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