COMMONS

Report: A new Magna Carta?

King’s College London have produced three blueprints of what form a codified constitution for the UK could take: a Constitutional Code (a non-legal document setting out the existing constitutional arrangements), a Constitutional Consolidation Act (a collection of existing laws on the constitution), and a Written Constitution (a document of basic law by which the UK would be governed, including some changes to existing constitutional arrangements). In order to help you compare and contrast these three blueprints, we have selected some common themes that you might want to consider.  By clicking on a theme below, you can read what each blueprint says about that subject.

Head of State

All three blueprints set out the role of the Head of State in the United Kingdom’s constitution. To compare and contrast how they deal with this subject see

 

 

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the holder of the highest political office in the United Kingdom. The role and powers of the Prime Minister were the subject of a recent report by the Committee. To compare and contrast how the blueprints deal with this subject see 

 

 

Elections 

All three blueprints set out the arrangements for general elections. There is also information on local elections. To compare and contrast how the three documents deal with this topic see 

 

 

House of Lords/Second Chamber

The future of the House of Lords has been the subject of extensive debate, not least in recent years.  The Committee published a report called "House of Lords reform: what next?” in 2013. To compare how the three blueprints deal with this topic, see

 

Ministerial Conduct

The Ministerial Code currently sets out the standard of conduct expected of Ministers.  To compare and contrast how the blueprints deal with ministerial conduct, see

 


 

Devolution

The devolution of power from Westminster to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has changed the political landscape in the United Kingdom in recent years.  There is also the prospect of further changes to come.  To see how the blueprints deal with devolution, see 

 

Local Government

Local government plays a vital role in the lives of people in the UK.  The Committee produced a report on therelationship between local and central government in 2013. To find out what the blueprints say about local government, see

 

 

Human rights/Bill of rights

The Human Rights Act 1998 made rights from the European Convention on Human Rights enforceable in the UK’s courts.  To compare and contrast what the blueprints say about Human Rights and a Bill of Rights, see 

 


 

Judiciary

The role of the judiciary within the UK’s constitutional arrangements is not currently set out in a single document.  Like the constitution itself, it has evolved from a variety of sources, including Acts of Parliament, common law precedents and conventions. The Committee has already produced a report on the “Constitutional role of the judiciary if there were a codified constitution”.  To compare and contrast how the blueprints handle the topic, see

European Union

The UK’s relationship with Europe is the subject of much debate.  To compare and contrast how the blueprints address this subject, see