Thursday, 30 January 2014
A Bill of Rights for Britain
For as long as I can remember exams for both UK Constitutional Law & British Politics have often included questions inviting the student to discuss the merits and disadvantages of establishing a Bill of Rights specifically for the UK system. It's a super exam question - because it enables the student to demonstrate their understanding of "rights"; to discuss how far a piece of paper can actually protect them; the relationships between elected legislatures and governments and the Judiciary; and the problems caused for such a Bill due to the doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty.
The Political & Constitutional Reform Committee - one of the House of Common's Select Committee has been looking at the issue - and a debate has been held in Westminster Hall. It's worth having a look at the debate - It can be accessed directly here or the PDF of Hansard can be downloaded - You'll find the debate about a third of the way through, starting at Column 216 WH. That can be downloaded from here.