COMMONS

Competion to write preamble for modern written Constitution

21 July 2014

An open public competition launched to find who can write the best Preamble for a modern Written Constitution for the UK

This is part of the consultation on "A New Magna Carta?" launched last week.

Chair's comments

Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee Chair Graham Allen MP said:

"The Preamble of a nation's constitution should be rousing, ringing, inspiring and short. For budding Thomas Jeffersons who need a start here below is my own effort, if you think you can do better in 350 words then please visit www.parliament.uk/pcrc-preamble to submit your entry. They will go on our website and I will award a prize to the best entries from a member of the public, a young person under the age of 18, and a journalist."

Graham Allen's Preamble to a New Magna Carta.

A Written Constitution for the UK

Whereas, it is a great and manifold blessing to a nation to possess a constitution respected and revered by its citizens, and

Whereas, this United Kingdom has no single written constitution but  rather a constitutional settlement scattered and diffused among many statutes and other instruments and in parts not even written at all but having expression only through custom and convention, and

Whereas, our citizens have no ready and convenient means to view and  examine this settlement and bring it to memory,

Now, we the people of the United Kingdom have created this Constitution as an expression of our nation, our democracy  and as the framework of our government whose just powers derive only from our consent.

We, through the agency of our representatives in Parliament assembled, have devised and agreed this constitution to unite in one place for all to see the principles and rules by which our realm is and ought to be governed, so that our constitution may be better known, upheld and protected by all its citizens.

Through this constitution our nation:

  • affirms that all its people are created equal and entitled to justice, liberty and opportunity under law in our United Kingdom,
  • embeds and entrenches the rule of law throughout its territory,
  • defines the institutions of government and the inherent rights of all its citizens, and secures them from the tyranny or caprice of those in power over them,
  • provides for its citizens to make decisions in government at the appropriate level which is closest to them,
  • enables the means by which the exercise of any power or authority within the nation can be judged lawful and legitimate or otherwise and can be made accountable to all its citizens;
  • creates throughout its territory the conditions which ensure domestic tranquillity, promote the general welfare, advance culture, learning and the use and expression of every individual talent, and allow the establishment and expansion of lawful commerce of every kind, and
  • makes the rights and blessings attendant on our citizenship better known and understood that they may be more vigorously defended and promoted both by ourselves now and forever.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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