Overcoming the Parliamentary rule which could destroy the constitution

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 way I can see to prevent this is to use a three step process.

1. An Act to introduce the constitution at a specific future date.

2. A resolution of Parliament that following the imminent dissolution it will never be reconvened.

3. Dissolution of the existing Parliament, which will be permanent.

A new Parliament (possibly under a different name) will then be elected according to the terms of the new constitution.

I proposed something similar some weeks ago under a different heading, but this one seems more suitable. A critic then said it was not necessary, quoting the history of the 1911 Parliament Act as evidence that this would not happen, but there are two flaws in that argument. The first is that it is a poor example, because it has been since amended (I think it was around 1948 but I'm not sure). The second and more important point it that the alleged fact that it has not happened before is no guarantee that it will not happen in the future, just as the present government is wanting to overturn the quasi-constitutional Human Rights Act - and we could have far worse governments than this one in the future. If the power to do it exists, then sooner or later it will be used.

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Andrew Cullyer Apr 7, 2015

What if we want to repeal it? I mean to say that what we write today is the perfect form of government never to be superseded is hubris. By allowing it to be changed by act of Parliament seems logical, entrenchment prevents perfectly sensible updates to the document as we go along I realise you fear that some despot would gain power and junk the whole thing but that has not happened since the the Civil War and is unlikely to happen again.  

Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Dear Jim and Andrew, there are 2 other ideas that have come through to this phase on establishing and amending a new constitution.  I think that each of these ideas needs to be consistent with the other 2.  Here are the links to the other ideas and so some suggestions on how to achieve consistency would be great.



Tom Austin Apr 9, 2015

Mmmmmm...A lot of water has yet to pass under the bridge, but...

Two referendums [Set to coincide with two national election;General and EU ? Or one specific + one other]

-A ploy-draft, Tick-Tack-Tow Referendum, where there is a choice of clauses in many topic areas.

-A Final Draft For approval by 'agreed' majority. (The single question - specific, non-General Election)

The next General Election to be run as agreed within the Constitution.

Andrew Cullyer Apr 14, 2015

I think this idea should be combined with Iain's idea for implementation of the C and subsequent amendments should be done in line of one of the many I do not think this idea and Ian's are mutually exclusive but can be read together as it were but others thoughts on this please.    

Tom Austin Apr 14, 2015

This is Ian's alternative: I trust...