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Posts Tagged ‘Magna Carter’

It’s true. Britain has no official constitution. Not one in the same way as the USA. My personal belief is that the whole constitution thing in the US is a bit bizarre anyway. Just because some old bearded men wrote down a few opinions on what people should be allowed to do over 400 years ago, doesn’t mean that it should still be allowed to happen now.

This is the potential problem with the Human Rights Act (1998) put in by the previous government, although a decent idea, it’ll be dated in 20 years. But before this was introduced the British countries were ruled by something called the unwritten constitution, which is upheld by the House or Lords. The unwritten constitution is loosely based on a medieval English Charter called Magna Carter. This combined with Habeas Corpus – the idea that a misdeed can be tried before a court, is ultimately how this country has been ruled since the dawn of civilised civilisation.

This is what we spoke about in Monday’s lecture with Marcos.

The House of Lords have powers to delay laws, as any law the Prime Minister is willing to pass has to be agreed by both Houses of Parliament. In the 80’s Thatcher tried to pass several laws through that may have been put through House of Commons but the House of Lords believed it wasn’t best for the country and this began the downfall of Thatcher from a political standpoint.

There are four different types of Lords that make up the House;

Hereditary Lords – Not around so much anymore. There was over a 1000 several year back who didn’t do anything but simply had privileges to enter and claim expenses on the country’s dime. There are under 100 now but most of them like to contribute to the House in some way.

Life Peers – Officially appointed by the Queen but a lot of recommendations will come from the Prime Minister, these can occasionally include knighted celebrities but of course the famous ones won’t contribute to the House, a lot of the time the Lord will be politically minded and is there to assist the government.

Anglican Clergy – They say Anglican because saying protestant upsets them. They are usually Bishops of the Church of England who say they represent all religious sects.

Law Lords – The place would be pretty pointless without people who know something about law. They will be high ranking lawyers, judges or counsel.

We discussed a few other points like the age of voting and the age to stand for election, when the polls open and close. We also discussed briefly the work we have to hand in – which is closing in now, and a reminder to look in McNae to prepare for the up and coming presentation.

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