Flashcards in Constitutional reforms since 1997 Deck (6)
Examples of reforms that have been successful
Human Rights Act 1998 - The most significant development in the protection of human rights in the UK since Magna Carta. Can be repealed at any time by Parliament, however it is a genuinely codified element of the constitution as its managed externally (ECHR)
Constitutional reform act 2005 - This act strengthened the key principle of separation of powers. Established the supreme court and removed the judiciary from the Lords, which ensured a divide between the judiciary and legislature. Also, appointees to the supreme court are chosen on merit by the independent Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). Overall, made the judiciary more transparent.
House of Lords Act 1999 - Reduced the number of unelected, unaccountable hereditary peers to 92. Made the Lords a more highly appointed chamber.
Examples of reforms that have not been successful
Fixed term parliaments Act - Was designed to stop the PM from calling an election whenever he or she likes. However, it still seems like the PM has considerable power over when general elections are held (snap election 2017). Therefore, she could avoid the 'mandatory' two thirds majority in the Commons for a early election to take place
Greater London Authority Act 1999 (elected mayors) - Cities, towns and districts were given opportunities to elect mayors following a local referendum. However, few held referendums and fewer still voted in favour of an elected mayor. In the West Midlands mayoral election 2017, the turnout was only 26%.
Another constitutional reform that has been successful
Good Friday Agreement 1998 - Stopped political violence between the Protestant and Catholic communities. Created the Northern Irish executive and assembly.
Recall of MP's Act 2015
- Introduced a process by which an MP can be recalled by their constituency to face a by-election.
English votes for English laws
- That laws only concerning England require a majority from MP's sitting in English constituencies.