London attractions
BRIT POLITICS logo
HOME : University 18 Yrs +

Introduction
An unwritten constitution
What are constitutions for
Support for the unwritten constitution - the Whig view
Support for the unwritten constitution - westminster model
Support for the Unwritten Constitution - From the 1970s
What is the British Constitution - Common Law
The Common Law - The Royal Prerogative
The British Constitution - Statute Law
More on Statute Law
The British Constitution - Constitutional Conventions
Authoritative Sources
New Labour and Devolution
New Labour and FOI
New Labour and Human Rights
New Labour and Local Government
New Labour and Monetary Policy
New Labour and Political Parties
New Labour and the House of Lords
New Labour and the Judiciary
Significance since 1997
The Coalition
Introduction
An unwritten constitution
What are constitutions for
Support for the unwritten constitution - the Whig view
Support for the unwritten constitution - westminster model
Support for the Unwritten Constitution - From the 1970s
What is the British Constitution - Common Law
The Common Law - The Royal Prerogative
The British Constitution - Statute Law
More on Statute Law
The British Constitution - Constitutional Conventions
Authoritative Sources
New Labour and Devolution
New Labour and FOI
New Labour and Human Rights
New Labour and Local Government
New Labour and Monetary Policy
New Labour and Political Parties
New Labour and the House of Lords
New Labour and the Judiciary
Significance since 1997
The Coalition
constitution banner

University 18 Yrs + | Constitutional Change

What are Constitutions for?

They basically do two things:-

  • Limit the powers of Government and define the rights of the citizen
  • Set the rules that govern the different parts of the political system and how they relate to each other (Parliament, Head of State, Regions, Courts etc.)
In most countries they resulted from a period of major internal political conflict such as the French Revolution or the American War of Independence or after foreign occupation, such as during the Second World War, or after a dictatorship. 

In Britain the last comparable period to this was the civil war of the 1650s when the idea of constitutions was barely developed, although Parliament did pass a statement of principles, abandoned when the Monarchy was restored in 1660.

The Constitution Unit at University College London provides a more detailed discussion of what constitutions are on their website with links to an interesting project comparing constitutions:- www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/whatis/Constitution 

tours_468X60_English

Best Sellers


  • DID YOU KNOW? Bob Hoskins, Richard Burton and Christian Slater have all played Winston Churchill in films. 
     

 

Latest News & Features

The Guardian: University League Tables 2018 released

Tony Blair became PM twenty years ago, but what was Blairism?

Profile: Sir Robert Walpole, the first British Prime Minister

Our Twitter Feed