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The Political Constitution No More?

TAYLOR, ROBERT,BRETT (2013) The Political Constitution No More? Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The British constitution has recently undergone some dramatic changes which, according to leading constitutional scholar Vernon Bogdanor, signals the demise of the 'old' political constitution and its replacement with a 'new' more legal constitution. The aim of thesis is to challenge the assertion that the British constitution is undergoing a fundamental transformation from a political to a legal constitution by conducting a thorough analysis of the extent to which the contemporary British constitution can still be said to resemble a political constitution. This will be achieved through an exhaustive examination of three key areas of the constitution: the Royal Prerogative; Constitutional Conventions; and the Human Rights Act 1998. In so doing, however, it is not the aim of this thesis to produce a simple either/or account of the British constitution, but instead to advance and provide evidence of a middle-ground between the two opposing schools of constitutionalism: complementary constitutionalism. It will be argued that both the legal and the political constitutions share many common characteristics and disagree with one another primarily, although not exclusively, on emphasis. No real world constitution, therefore, was or ever will be solely legal or solely political in character. A real world constitution is instead a complementary mixture of elements from both the legal and political schools which can be either primarily legal or primarily political in character. As a result, it will be shown that the British constitution, although undisputedly more legal, nevertheless remains primarily political.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:"British constitution" "political constitution" "legal constitution" "constitutionalism" "government accountability" "royal prerogative" "constitutional conventions" "Human Rights Act 1998"
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Jun 2014 14:10

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