The system of Government and the British constitution

3 perc olvasás
four white boats traveling on river beside Big Ben in London

The governmental model that has been operating in Britain since 1688 is called Constitutional Monarchy. The system is characterized by that politicians carry out all state and governmental businesses in the name of the monarchy. Also, the Parliament possesses the essential legislative power. In addition, the Government governs by initiating and controlling policies thus creating the executive power. The legislative power consists of the three elements of the Parliament. First, The Crown that has only a formal role. However, it is neutral but acts on the advice of politicians. Nevertheless, it has formal parliamentary tasks and holding audiences with the Prime Minister.


The Parliament is the supreme legislative authority with the functions of creating, abolishing and amending laws for Britain. Its structure is characterized by the presence of the two houses and the monarch with the maximum period of 5 years, and then formed again. The House of Commons provides the seatings with its speaker who is the chief officer of the House of Commons, and who is also elected by MPs from among themselves. The House of Commons has the function of legitimization both in Public and Private Bills. A bill has to go through different stages to be an act when it receives the Royal Assent. The House of Lords considers legislation referred from the Commons and also suggests amendments, for instance in financial matters. Moreover, it initiates legislation and debates policy. The Government resides in Whitehall. It consists of 100 ministers and officials chosen from both Houses of the Parliament. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. He also chooses ministers and decides on the composition of the Government. The Cabinet holds 20 senior ministers from the Government, and called “Secretaries of State” presided by the Prime Minister. The Government Departments are instruments by which the Government implements its policies staffed by the Civil Service. As a result of its complexity, it has to be politically impartial.

The British Constitution has no written form that means the lack of the highest law of the land. Its sources came from the laws passed by Parliament and also, court decisions and conventions. Many special features characterize the Constitution. First, the unitary structure of the state means that sovereignty is held by one central institution, by the Parliament. Second, the ultimate source of authority is the law. Third, the absence of any strong division of power. Fourth, the absence of “bill of rights”. Finally, important parts of the Constitution lie in traditional, unwritten agreements. However, the British Constitution is criticized many times. First and foremost, the political system is too centralized and the traditional structures are no longer adequate for the organization of a modern mass society. Besides, the question of fairness is raised many times if the laws are clear and fairly applied. Above all, there is the case of the absence of a “bill of rights” that needs to be written and codificated.