17.2a Constitution: Nature Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 17.2a Constitution: Nature Deck (5)
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US - codified

The US has a codified constitution - the basis of all US government and laws of the land are in one document.

Whilst it is a written document, the US constitution has uncodified parts because it does not mention the cabinet, the Executive Office of the President, judicial review and primary elections.


UK - uncodified

The UK has an uncodified constitution - it is not written in a single document and has multiple sources.

Whilst it is unwritten, part of the UK constitution is written including Common Law, Acts of Parliament and authoritative works which are guides to how the constitution works.



The US constitution was ratified in 1789 in a single document consisting of 7 articles and 27 amendments added after.

UK has an unwritten constitution which has evolved over time.


US - entrenched

The US constitution is entrenched, meaning it is difficult to change.

Changing the US constitution requires a supermajority, which is over two-thirds of members, in both houses of Congress in support of the amendment.

The US constitution entrenches rights which are difficult to amend such as the ‘right to bear arms’.


UK - unentrenched

The UK constitution is unentrenched and so it is easily changed through an Act of Parliament which is passed by a majority vote in both houses of Parliament.

In the UK Parliamentary sovereignty means that no parliament can pass a law that can't be changed by future parliaments.

In 1997 Parliament passed the Firearms Act which banned the use of handguns in the UK.