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Suggested draft clause for the constitution (drawn from the thread below, many thanks): " the Government must endeavour to manage the [UK] economy in such a way as to promote sustainable economic activity and use of resources for the benefit of the current and future generations and report to Parliament twice yearly how it is meeting this target." Reasoning: The UK has a huge national debt, spending billions every year on interest servicing this debt. We also have very...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 47
Ian Smith

if you are wondering how to approach whether to argue for or vote on a right, this approach may help: - the acid test for elevating something to a constitutional right is that it is something we take for granted and cherish  - because of that's the case it's probably too important to be left to the government of the day  (We are obviously concerned with serious day to day concepts rather than our local corner shops, Christmas etc.   But we may want a minimum number of bank holidays...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-2 Votes
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Comments 0
Ian Smith

The constitution should mandate the regulation of the supply of money in the UK. Currently money (cash) is minted and supplied through the Bank of England which lends to private banks and therefore ultimately sets interest rates and influences the rate of inflation. it is right that this activity is regulated by the state. (This does not prevent the Bank of England setting interest rates independantlly of the Government: it just requires that the Bank of England be regulated)  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
0 Votes
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Comments 3
Ian Smith

Suggested draft clause for the constitution: 'It is the responsibility of the state to regulate the financial markets and supply of financial services with the objective of ensuring the stability of markets and the protection of investors in financial services' Idea behind the draft clause: The reasons why the constitution should mandate that the state must regulate financial services are: - we have learned through history that the markets in financial services do not offer...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Ian Smith

I suggest a preamble along the following lines... All UK nationals, residents and visitors to the UK to: - respect the UK's constitution; - respect the values enshrined in the constitution; - respect the principles of democratic government enshrined in the constitution; - respect the rights and duties of others under the constitution; - carry out any protests against the constitution and its values and enshrined rights and duties in a peaceful manner

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
0 Votes
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Comments 7
Ian Smith

The UK could: - Have a new elected or fairly appointed head of state to act as the guardian of our constitution, meet and greet foreign heads of state, to sign treaties and so on; and - Simultaneously create a new purely ceremonial role for the monarchy devoid of all political power and influence, prerogatives and immunity from the law of the land, tasked with responsibilities such as charity work (If you have followed my ideas, you will have seen I favour abolition of the monarchy...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-3 Votes
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Comments 13
Ian Smith

I have found the debates on the nature of rights in this project to be fascinating. They have focused debates on a number of distinctions: 1. Individual v Social Rights. 2. Actionable rights v those which we hope others will respect 3. Absolute rights v qualified rights As I have tried to make clear, whilst I find the philosophical arguments intriguing and a necessary mechanism for testing rights, the philosophical arguments will not usually be conclusive. I say that because, we...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
0 Votes
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Comments 11
Ian Smith

Wherever possible allegations and claims made in elections must be evidence based, giving the sources for those propositions. They should not be guesses

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-1 Votes
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Comments 7
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for constitution: 'Members of Parliament must carry out their duties in a manner which is honest and trustworthy'   Idea behind the draft clause: Tiime and time again the public ask for honesty and trustwirthiness from politicians and over and over politicians let us down.  The constitution should state that these are core qualities and that all members of Parliament must carry out their duties in s manner which is honest and trustworthy.

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for constitution: 'Members of the Government must carry out their duties in a manner which is honest and trustworthy'   Idea behind the draft clause: Time and time again the public ask for honesty and trustworthiness from politicians and over and over politicians let us down.  The constitution should state that these are core qualities and that all members of the government must carry out their duties in s manner which is honest and trustworthy.

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
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Comments 14
Ian Smith

Idea: The Constitution should stipulate that MPs must be fit to hold office  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
0 Votes
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Comments 13
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: ' Juries in court proceedings must be: - randomly selected  - Independent of the other participants in the court proceedings before them - Free from interference - Required to keep their deliberations confidential '

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
15 Votes
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Comments 21
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'The rehabilitation of offenders shall be an objective of the state's criminal justice system'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
10 Votes
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Comments 11
Ian Smith

Suggested preamble to the constitution: - 'The people of the [UK] value fairness and justice'   Reasoning behind the idea: Fairness and Justice are the two big pillars in the house of British values. Ask any foreigner what they think of as Britishness and they are likely to tell you that: - the British play fair and want fairness to prevail; - the British value justice and which to know that it done and seen to be done. Each of these pillars supports the roof above our...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
11 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Ian Smith

Here is my suggested preamble clause for the constitution: 'It is in the interests of the UK that Europe and its nations are stable and secure' As I said before the reasoning behind this is: The constitution must recognise, at least in its preambles, that a stable and secure Europe is very much in our interests if not essential to our interests.   Imagine: - wars between countries close to our borders - a ban or high tariffs on import of British goods to the continent The...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 12
Ian Smith

Suggested preamble to the constitution: - 'The people of the [UK] recognise that it is important that, to the best of their abilities, they strive to use their endeavours and resources to contribute economically to the [UK] and where required shall pay taxes for the benefit of the people of the [UK]' Reasoning: this is a necessary corollary of valuing and aspiring to have a functioning government and civil service and the guarantee of security in the form of welfare (somebody has to...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
8 Votes
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Comments 30
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for constitution: 'The government will widely solicit citizens' views on proposed policy. It will give due consideration to the technology used to ensure that citizens are not restricted in joining the debate.'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
3 Votes
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Comments 18
Ian Smith

Candidates must live  for a minimum of three years in a constituency before becoming eligeable to be that constituency's MP. This will increase local understanding and promote geographic diversity of MPs. 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
0 Votes
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Comments 12
Ian Smith

The head of state's seat of office shoukd rotate between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, carrying out all ceremonial and constitutional functions from a base in that part of the UK.  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 7
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'The common law shall continue to have effect when this constitution comes into force but in the case of any conflict between (a) the Constitution and/or ordinary statutes of Parliament and (b) the Common Law the Constitution and/or statute shall prevail and the incompatible common law principle shall be unenforceable' Idea: The Common Law developed by the Courts in the UK, shall continue to have effect after the adoption of a written constitution, save that in the...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
15 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause: 'The [UK] will negotiate treaties with other nations in good faith and will honour all of it's obligations under treaties (whether entered into before or after the coming into force of this constitution).  The Prime Minister will report to Parliament on annual basis regarding the [UK]'s compliance with this provision .' Idea behind the draft clause: If the UK signs up to a treaty with other nations, it must honour its commitments under that treaty...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
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Comments 12
Ian Smith

Respecting other nations and peoples requires respect for their independence and sovereignty. This means limiting the occasions when our laws are applicable to activities outside the UK.  The converse is also true, that our constitution should outlaw the enforcement of certain foreign laws. I suggest the following clause for the constitution : 'Except and to the extent set out further below: '- Parliament is not permitted to enact laws purporting to have effect outside the...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for the constitution: ' The duties and responsibilities of the Prime Minister and their Cabinet shall be discharged by those individuals alone with the assistance of neutral civil service advisors.' Idea behind the draft clause: We elect MPs to govern us and pay for a neutral civil service to support them and implement their governments' decisions.  What we do not elect are special advisers.  So why is that that we have ended up with an army of  unelcted special...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
7 Votes
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Comments 16
Ian Smith

Here is my suggested clause for the constitution: 'It is the duty of the UK, through its government and other agencies, to ensure that: - It conducts its affairs with other states and their peoples ethically;  - It will negotiate with but not lend political, military or economic support to regimes which do not respect fundamental human rights of the kind recognised and promulgated by the United Nations.'   (This is not an anti-foreign aid idea as it would not prevent the...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
8 Votes
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Comments 13
Ian Smith

Our constitution's preambles should contain these words: ' - we are stronger together as people and peoples than we are apart; - we should strive to maintain a sense of common purpose and values; and - we support each other in our individual pursuits of happiness '  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
7 Votes
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Comments 14
Ian Smith

No individual should be permitted to be Prime Minister for more than 2 terms of Parliament 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
10 Votes
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Comments 21
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'Parliament's term shall be of a fixed length with elections held in the same week of the year every 4 years.'  (There will need to be some final refinement to enable earlier dissolution of a parliament on the basis that no effective government may be formed) Parliament terms should be of a fixed length of either 4 or 5 years and the dates and voting times of general elections should be fixed according to a formula that ensures that they cannot be manipulated by...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 23
Ian Smith

If we adopt a written constitution and choose to have a head of state then that head should act as a guardian of the UK constitution.   The head should have the right and duty to act if s/he considers that a proposed new statute would infringe the constitution.  In that case s/he should either: 1. Have the power to send the bill back to parliament for reconsideration; and/or 2. Send it to the Supreme Court for consideration of the potential infringement. 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 19
Ian Smith

As things stand our head of state has to 'assent' ie approve a bill before it becomes law as an act of parliament.  The same scenario has given rise to problems in other monarchy-countries where the head of state has declined to approve laws on grounds of conscience (the Grand Duke of Luxembourg indicated that he would decline to approve a euthanasia law). Luxembourg's solution which I suggest we have for whatever kind of head of state the UK has is that ..... The head of state is...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 14
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: ' All criminal justice laws and measures must be proportionate'. Idea behind the draft clause: Aristotle's principle that 'the just is the proportional, the unjust is what violates the proportional' should be enshrined in modern words.  This would for example permit longer pre-charge detention for suspected murderers and terrorists than for shoplifters and drug users. 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 41
Ian Smith

Suggested clause (drafted by Andrew Bulovsky) 'The manifestos that parties make in the run-up to a General Election must be considered a commitment to the public as the actual goals and priorities of a Government. As such, manifestos shall be binding upon a Government.  Should a Government be formed by two or more parties, it is expected that they shall reconcile differences through negotiations, and are still responsible to the public for finding a common ground on policies that are as...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 19
Ian Smith

Inherited wealth is a serious inhibitor of social mobility.  Should it be prohibited? The well established ECHR right to property would probably not need to be altered since it is already subject to qualifications such as the state' right to levy taxes  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 6
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'Judges shall be protected from arbitrary dismissal or dismissal on political grounds.  Judges may only be dismissed by reason of gross misconduct.*  The Judiciary shall devise rules and disciplinary procedures under which Judges may be dismissed.' (This would clearly include criminal offending and serious misconduct such as presiding over cases in which a Judge has a personal or conflict of interests)  Original idea: 1. Should judges be liable to be removed from...

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

Suggested clause: 'Public prosecutors must be independent of the judiciary and the police and other law enforcement agencies.'  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
17 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 12
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: ' No individual shall be deprived of all means of subsistence nor forced unnecessarily into a position of dependency by the operation of law.' Idea behind the clause: No individual should be deprived of all means of subsistence.  In practice this means, for example, that even bankrupts should be left with the tools of their trade and other similar rights which successive governments can define and refine.

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 14
Ian Smith

'It is the responsibility of the state to regulate all healthcare service providers with the objective of ensuring high quality healthcare for all individuals in the [UK]' Idea behind the draft clause: Although there can and should be freedom of choice when it comes to healthcare, the constitution should require that the state regulate all healthcare providers to ensure that individuals are protected against incompetent provision.  Successive governments (and the courts) of course...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
3 Votes
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Comments 10
Ian Smith

My suggested clause for the constitution is: 'The powers and responsibilities of the Police Forces and all other public law enforcement agencies must be fixed in law by Parliament.'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
10 Votes
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Comments 10
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for the constitution (in the criminal justice section): 'Courts sentencing powers must be fixed by statutes' Idea behind the draft clause: Just that… they are too important to be left to the common law to develop.  That is not to say that judges should not be granted discretion by legislation

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
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Comments 11
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for the constitution: 'All individuals should be free to emigrate from the [UK] and give up their [UK] nationality.  The [UK] has a responsibility to ensure that any individual who is rendered stateless by exercise of this right is not unreasonably refused [UK] nationality in the event that the individual applies to become a [UK] national again.' '

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
14 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'Forced marriage is prohibited. The Government shall take an active approach to ensuring that this right is guaranteed.'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
8 Votes
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Comments 21
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause (to be combined with John from Jersey's clause on some of these points): '1.  No individual shall be arrested save on reasonable grounds to suspect that he or she has committed a crime which is recognised in statute; 2.  An individual must be informed of the reasons for his or her arrest at the time of arrest; 3.  An individual has the right to challenge their detention before a court with celerity; 4.  An individual has the right to sue the state...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
13 Votes
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Comments 12
Ian Smith

Standards for wages, hours, conditions, rest and holiday must be fixed by law enacted by Parliament

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-3 Votes
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Comments 15
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause (in the criminal justice section): '- Nobody should be compelled to testify against themselves; - Confessions obtained under duress are inadmissible in courts of law; - Nobody should be convicted solely upon their own confession.'

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

My idea which I thought would be useful to debate here is that : " nobody should be forced to pay tax for anything other than self-defence of the UK ."

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
Ian Smith

Many of the debates highlight very interesting questions about the very nature of rights.   My point here, which I hope will lead to useful discussion in one place, is that ... Rights are not rights until we declare them to be so ... because there are no such things as incontrovertible rights only interests which various people and governments have characterised as "fundamental" or "absolute" rights

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
1 Votes
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Comments 15
Ian Smith

Should the constitution in some way make it clear that all sufficiently able persons of working age residing in the UK have a duty to work so as to contribute to society? What sort of work?  What ages? What consequences for failure to work?  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
-7 Votes
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Comments 13
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause (borrowed from a New Zealand provision): 'Genuine communications between lawyers and their clients are protected.  They may not be intercepted or used against a client.  A communication is so protected if: (a) It is a confidential communication, whether oral or written, passing between— i) a legal practitioner in the practitioner's professional capacity and another legal practitioner in such capacity; or ii) a legal practitioner in...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 22
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'Everyone has the right to die with dignity and at a time of one's choosing.' Idea behind the draft: The right not to be criminalised/punished either for attempting suicide or for assisting a terminally ill person to seek euthanasia is too important to be left to god government of the day and so should be enshrined in the constitution. 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 4
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'All rights accorded to persons by this constitution are actionable before the courts and compensation shall be payable to any injured person where he or she has suffered injury or damage.' Idea behind the clause: The constitution should declare that all of the rights contained in the constitution should be actionable in the Courts. This would ensure that even if a capricious parliament were to repeal some statute of real importance (for example a statute...

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

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
 

Ian Smith

London, United Kingdom

Joined this community on Feb 19, 2015

Bio My father was a factory worker and my mother an immigrant from Italy. I was lucky to have gone to university at a time of free education. I work as a barrister.

Age
40-49

Gender
Male

Highest level of Education
Undergraduate degree

Should the UK have a written codified constitution?
Yes

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