A New Magna Carta?

HC 463, Second Report of Session 2014-15 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating to the Report

Author:
House of Commons - Political Constitution Reform Committee
Publisher:
TSO (The Stationery Office)

The Magna Carta has its 800th Anniversary next year, and the report 'A New Magna Carta? (HC 463)', launches a major consultation into the shape of our democracy today.

The Committee has been working on a major project with King's College London to develop several different visions of what a democratic settlement for the UK could look like. The research lays out three different models including one complete constitution, and sets out some of the arguments for and against codifying the constitution.

The UK has a mass of common law, Acts of Parliament, and European treaty obligations, and a number of important but uncertain and unwritten 'conventions' that govern administration, but the full picture is unclear and uncertain to electors in our democracy. It has become too easy for governments to implement political and constitutional reforms to suit their own political convenience; a written constitution would entrench requirements for popular and parliamentary consent, and give primacy to the sovereignty of the people.

The case against a written constitution is that it is unnecessary, undesirable and un-British. The UK's unwritten constitution is evolutionary and flexible in nature, enabling practical problems to be resolved as they arise, and for individual reforms to be made. A written constitution could create more litigation in the courts and politicise the judiciary. There is no real popular support or demand for a written constitution.

Given these polarised views, the Committee is launching the consultation to get input from all quarters on the possibilities.

Extent 423 pages ISBN 9780215073174
Size A4 Price £36.00
Format Paperback Published 10 Jul 2014
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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