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Public Law Directions

Public Law Directions (2nd edn)

Anne Dennett
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date: 01 December 2023

p. 433. The features and sources of the UK constitutionlocked

p. 433. The features and sources of the UK constitutionlocked

  • Anne DennettAnne DennettSenior Lecturer, University of Lincoln


This chapter examines the characteristics of the UK constitution. The main features of the UK constitution are that it is uncodified; flexible; traditionally unitary but now debatably a union state; monarchical; parliamentary; and based on a bedrock of important constitutional doctrines and principles: parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, separation of powers; the courts are also basing some decisions on bedrock principles of the common law. Meanwhile, the laws, rules, and practices of the UK constitution can be found in constitutional statutes; judicial decisions; constitutional conventions; international treaties; the royal prerogative; the law and custom of Parliament; and works of authoritative writers. The chapter then looks at the arguments for and against codifying the UK constitution.

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