Constitutional Amendment

How should we amend our constitution?

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What mechanisms of constitutional reform should we have for our constitution?

Should the constitution remain unchanged through all time? Many claim that one of the main advantages of our present constitutional arrangement is its dynamic and flexible nature. The constitution can be changed by the passing of an act of Parliament or by a decision of the courts. Does that give too much power to Parliament and to the courts? This challenge invites you to think about these issues and more. Below are some of the questions you might wish to consider.

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There is no heading specifically for this, but it is an important aspect. There is a rule that no Parliament may bind its successors. This means that if the constitution comes into being, which must be by Act of Parliament to make it law, then, unless special precautions are taken, any future Parliament will be free to amend or repeal it, starting with any provision to prevent it doing so. This is how the existing constitution stands (as any constitutional lawyer will confirm). The only...

JimF
by JimF
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 25
JimF
by
JimF

Just had a search for "Lobbying" and currently nothing mentioned on it.  I think the constitution should provide some provisions improving the transparency of lobbying given what a fundamental impact it has on the Government's decision making, and how much has been written about the primacy of the people in other sections of the constitution. An obvious mechanism for this could be a register of lobbyists and lobbying activities, but these open to obvious abuses. Another mechanism could...

Cosimo Montagu
by Cosimo Montagu
8 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
Cosimo Montagu

The constitution would be regularly reviewed by a constitutional convention of citizen's juries, experts and policy makers every 20-30 years

Ben King-Beck
by Ben King-Beck
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 7
Ben King-Beck

Suggested clause: ' - In the case of conflicts between the wording of the constitution and ordinary statutes, the constitution shall have precedence and prevail. - Ordinary legislation (enacted before and after the new constitution) must, as far as possible, be read so as to be compatible with the constitution. - If it is not possible to read an ordinary statute in a way which is compatible with the constitution, then the offending provision in the statute should be declared...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
32 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 31
Ian Smith

I believe that the constitution should be pretty basic, setting out principles and parameters but not going into intricate detail. It should then be fairly resistant to change. However, it is inevitable that amendments will be required over time, if only to update the language as the meaning of words evolves. I suggest that a simple majority of MPs (of all MPs, not just those who take part in the division) should be able to propose a constitutional amendment; but that the threshold for...

Charles Williams
by Charles Williams
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
Charles Williams

Update 09-04-2015 : I've made a couple of changes to reflect the comments that were made in the first stage, shown in bold. It's still expressed in terms of an idea, rather than a draft clause. ------------------------------------------------------ The constitution would provide politicians with the rule book for their business; as such, it should not be down to politicians to change it / veto amendments to it. We already have a Law Commission which reviews areas of law which might...

Rob G
by Rob G
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
Rob G
by
Rob G

Phase 2 final wording: There shall be no circumstances in which the Constitution or any part of it shall be permitted to be suspended or revoked by any party, except in accordance with the procedure for amending the Constitution.  -------------------- A pretty straightforward one really, touched upon elsewhere in a comment. There shall be no circumstances in which the constitution or any part of it shall be permitted to be suspended or revoked by any party (government, judiciary...

Daniel Gaunt
by Daniel Gaunt
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 35
Daniel Gaunt

  The constitution should be established by:   - the passing of an Act of Parliament providing for the establishment of the constitution subject to the approval of voters; and,   - a simple majority vote in favour in a referendum. The constitution should be subject to amendment and should set out the procedure for making such a change. The following should be entitled to proposed an amendment:   - a simple majority in each of the two houses of the national parliament;   -...

Alastair Bruton
by Alastair Bruton
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 36
Alastair Bruton

Suggested clause for the constitution: ' The constitution shall be a living instrument and as such: - The constitution's provisions shall be interpreted objectively by future generations of people, parliaments and courts, without reference to the debates in Parliament and elsewhere which preceded the coming into force of this constitution; - The Supreme Court shall have the power to overrule itself in relation to its interpretations of the constitution.' Reasoning: We can and...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 28
Ian Smith

Suggested clause (following the Danish model): 'A new written constitution for the [UK] shall enter into force as such if it is: - approved by more than 50% of all MP's eligible to vote in two successive parliaments (before and after a general election); and - then approved by a simple majority of at voters in a public referendum in which at least 40% of the electorate have voted.'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
8 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Ian Smith
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