Future-proofing the constitution

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 should future-proof the constitution by ensuring that it isa living instrument and interpreted as such acknowledging that the Supreme Court has the power to overrule itself on constitutional laws in order to allow it to evolve into a charter which is fit not just for the 2st century but one which remains fit for and relevant for centuries to come.

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edited on Apr 10, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote to hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday week end!


Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Dear All,

Before I draft a suggested clause for the constitution, I should be very grateful if you would let me have any further thoughts on this idea and in particular the form of a constitutional clause.

Kind regards,


Tom Austin Apr 8, 2015

From what I read of the pros & cons of 'living instrument' maybe we should view it instead as a Frankenstein Monster.

Once created, it must lie-dormant unless and until there is sufficient 'storm' to enliven it again.

Ian Smith Apr 10, 2015


I do not think that it need become Frankenstein and it will in any event be controlled by the people.  My concern is to ensure that it does not become a relic or an inhibitor of progress too quickly.

Kind regards,


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