The proposition is that the United Kingdom should adopt a written constitution, explicitly outlining the rights of citizens, the roles of all organs of the government, and the powers (and limitations thereon) of the state. The choice facing the country is therefore whether to adopt the sort of explicit, formal supreme law typified by documents such as the United States Constitution. The alternative is to retain the status quo of its constitution consisting of a variety of informal codes and conventions, many of them unwritten, which guide the political and legal culture of the country. As it stands, parliament enjoys “sovereignty,” whereby it may pass whatever laws it wishes with no higher law limiting its legislation nor any judicial power to question the fundamental legitimacy of the law. Adopting such a constitution would restrict the behavior of the government, and subject all exercises of state power to judicial review. In 2007 then Prime Minister Gordon Brown made proposals for a British constitution and bill of rights which would have restricted the powers of the prime minister in areas such as declaring war however these proposals never came to anything.
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