ConstitutionUK - Crowdsourcing the UK Constitution

FAQs

Conclusion

After a successful Constitutional convention on 22nd April 2015 with Constitutional Champions and others, a draft constitution was put together using all the crowdsourced data that received a positive vote. The draft was then put out as a whole to the community to be voted on. On the 15th May the online engagement element of this project drew to a close. This website will remain in an archived state and will be read only. For more information about the videos and the journey of Constitution UK from start to finish, video content and its findings, please visit http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/constitutionuk/  where you will be able to access the final draft of the crowdsourced constitution.

To contact the host of Constitution UK for any information regarding this project from August 2015 onwards, please contact The Institute of Public Affairs at   ipa@lse.ac.uk

 

  • UK Constitution
  • Participation
  • Activity & Events
  • Impact & Responsibility
  • Contact Information

 

UK Constitution

What is a constitution?

A constitution is a set of principles and more specific provisions that define how future law and government activity more generally must follow. It describes the branches of power within a democracy – the executive (the UK government), the legislature (The UK Parliament) and the Judiciary. It can also contain the rights of a country’s citizens. For a comparison of constitutions around the world visit Constitute.

What is the Magna Carta?

Otherwise known as ‘The Great Charter’, the Magna Carta is the UK’s most famous constitutional document. In 1215 King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta in response to a revolt by medieval barons. In signing the charter he reduced the powers of the monarchy as it established that everyone, even the monarch was subject to the law. It also introduced certain rights and freedoms such as the right of the church to be free from governmental interference, the rights of all free citizens to own and inherit property and to be protected from excessive taxes.  

Why doesn’t the UK have a written constitution?

The UK has a constitution but it is uncodified. That means you cannot find the UK constitution in one single document like you can in many other countries such as the United States. The UK Constitution is made up of a number of sources:

  • Statutes (laws passed by Parliament)
  • Conventions (unwritten practices which have developed over time)
  • Common law (law developed by the courts and judges through cases)
  • Membership of the European Union means that European law has an impact on the British Constitution. The UK is also subject to international law.

To explore parts of the British Constitution visit Constitute. The Constitution has developed over time but you cannot find it in one place in one logical format.

Why do we need one?

The lack of a codifed constitution means that the origins of the UK constitution date back to 1215. 800 years later Constitution UK wants to explore creating a written codified constitution for modern Britain. An uncodified constitution has its problems. It makes it difficult to know what the state of the constitution actually is. Some argue that the UK is fine without a written constitution because it allows us to be flexible and adapt to modern society. But how true is that? Could we really reverse the devolution of powers from the UK Parliament to the Scottish Parliament and Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly?   

 

Participation

Who can contribute ideas?

This platform is open to everyone to contribute to the platform if they register.

Are people living outside of the UK eligible to take part?

Yes, there are no mechanisms on this platform to prevent people from outside the UK taking part.

How do I post an idea?

Select one of the challenges on the home page or via the challenge tab at the top. Click ‘Got a great idea’ and you will be taken to a page where you can submit your idea. For more help see Crowdicity's help page

How do I contribute to a discussion?

On the challenge page you will see a section marked showing all ideas. If you click on an idea you will then be able to comment on it. You can also vote ideas up and down by clicking thumbs up or thumbs down.

What happens to my ideas?

Your ideas will be voted on by the crowd. The most popular ideas will go through to the shortlisting stage where the public will be asked to vote on the shortlist of ideas.

Rules of participation

Constitution UK will not accept the use of swearing, offensive and/or abusive language within your ideas and/or comments on the ideas of others in these discussions. We reserve the right to take posts down. For more details please visit Community guidelines

What is Crowdicity?

Please watch the video on About Crowdicity

Why do I have to log in?

You will need to log in order to submit your ideas. You can control your settings on your profile, particularly what alerts you receive and how frequently you receive them. Please go to your profile page to make these changes.

What happens to my details?

Please visit Crowdicity’s privacy policy regarding your details. Constitution UK will use the data we gather from your details to determine which challenge was the most popular, to see if people have contributed from across the country as we are very keen to hear from voices outside of London.  

 

Activity & Events

How long will the project last?

The platform will be open for ten weeks. It will close with a constitutional convention 22nd April. Sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date.

Are there other ways to get involved?

You can attend our public events, tweet us @ConstitutionUK, submit blog posts, like our Facebook page.

 

Are there events near me?

Constitution UK will be holding public events in:

Cambridge, Wednesday 21st January, 12.00-14.00
The Government and our constitution. You Decide      
Gonville and Cauis College, Cambridge University  
We asked Cambridge residents what they thought the role of government should be in the constitution. Watch the video and give us your ideas and comments in The Government section.
 
 
Nottingham, Wednesday 11th February, 12.00-14.00
Should Europe be at the heart of our UK constitution?
Refreshments will be available from 11.30, guests will be asked to take their seats at 12.15
Filming will take place 12.30-13.30
Event closes at 14.00

 

Liverpool, Wednesday 18th February 12.00-14.00
What does it mean to be British? British values and the constitution
Refreshments will be available from 11.30, guests will be asked to take their seats at 12.15
Filming will take place 12.30-13.30
Event closes at 14.00
 
 
Portsmouth, Wednesday 25th February, 13.00-15.00
Time for a new Magna Carta? Human Rights and the UK Constitution
Refreshments will be available from 12.30, guests will be asked to take their seats at 13.15
Filming will take place 13.30-14.30
 

How do I attend an event?

Each event is linked to an eventbrite page where you can register. Sign up to our mailing list for updates.

Upcoming events will be posted on our Facebook page

You can also follow us on Twitter @ConstitutionUK

 

Impact & Responsibility

What will become of ‘our’ written constitution?

The written constitution will be presented to Members of Parliament in time for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta 12th June 2015 to demonstrate the work that you in collaboration with others have made.

On Wednesday 11th February Prime Minister, David Cameron said 'I have my doubts whether another talking convention is the answer. I think we need to look at some of the constitutional issues that leave people feeling left behind, not least English votes for English laws, and make sure that we put those things in place.'

Presenting this written constitution to Members of Parliament we hope to initate a real serious debate amongst senior politicians on the importance of a constitutional convention and letting you have your say.

Will the constitution become law?

No. It will be presented to Members of Parliament but only Parliament can make the law. For more information about this process please visit the Parliament challenge.  

Who will write the constitution?

YOU WILL. Your participation in this process will determine which ideas will go into the constitution. All crowdsourced data will be used to form a written constitution. The top 30 contributors from the platform will be invited to the Constitutional Convention where a written constitution will be put together.

 

Contact Information

Who are the key people involved in organising Constitution UK?

Professor Conor Gearty, Director, LSE Institute of Public Affairs

 

Who should I contact with my queries?

For information about the challenges and about the project please email:

Noita Sadler, Engagement Projects Manager, LSE Institute of Public Affairs   n.j.sadler@lse.ac.uk

Daniel Regan, Political and Public Engagement Officer, LSE Institute of Public Affairs   d.p.regan@lse.ac.uk

 

Who should I contact if I have a problem with the platform?

If you have a technical issue with the platform e.g. you can’t login please go to the ‘?’ at the top right hand corner for help information

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