Saturday, October 20, 2007

Does the UK have a constitution?

I was talking to someone close to me the other day who said something like that the United Kingdom doesn't have a constitution.
Why do they need a constitution? They are a monarchy!
It struck me as odd because I thought I had grown up calling their government a "constitutional monarchy" in school. So I looked it up, and you can read about it to your heart's content on Wikipedia:
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as head of state; the monarch of the UK also serves as head of state of fifteen other Commonwealth countries, putting the UK in a personal union with those other states. The UK uses a parliamentary government based on strong democratic traditions, a system that has been emulated around the world — a legacy of the British Empire.

The UK's constitution governs the legal framework of the country and consists mostly of written sources, including statutes, judge made case law, and international treaties. As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and law considered to be "constitutional law," the British Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament and thus has the power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. However, no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change... The United Kingdom is one of the three countries in the world today that does not have a codified constitution...

-United Kingdom. (2007, October 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:36, October 20, 2007, Available online.
But THIS is much more interesting, trust me.  I thought the pomp about titles was bad enough in the securities firm I used to work at.

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