The modernization of common law in Great Britain Influence of Blackstone Of extraordinary influence in the development of common law and in its dissemination to other parts of the world was the most famous of English jurists, Sir William Blackstone. He was born inentered the bar inand in became the first person to lecture on English law at an English university.
Yet, as current events on both sides of the Atlantic reveal, getting history wrong can also be dangerous. At one level, the explosion of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests has been dramatic.
In a matter of weeks, the movement mushroomed out of New York into more than 70 major US cities, before crossing continents. Anger over the impact of the financial crisis on "ordinary" people has been evident everywhere.
But so, in the US itself, has a certain hesitation and bewilderment. But it is also an attempt to keep likely critics at bay. The Democrats, too, have been cautious. Their leaders were slow to express support for Occupy. A prime reason for this diffidence is suggested by some of the Republican attacks on Occupy.
The demonstrators were "mobs", said Eric Cantor, the House minority leader. Occupy was waging "class warfare", claimed Mitt Romney, an accusation some Republicans also level at Obama.
But it was a rival of Romney for the Republican nomination, Herman Cain, who voiced the criticism Democrats and demonstrators here fear most. Occupy, and those backing it, according to Cain, are "anti-American".
Such accusations draw in part on a selective reading of the American Should britain have a codified constitution. As the historian Eric Foner argues in The Story of American Freedomsince the Reagan era, sections of the American right have been notably ingenious and successful in shaping and restricting ideas about what American freedom is and what it has been in the past: By comparison, the importance in American history of "freedom as economic security, freedom as active participation in democratic governance, freedom as social justice" is often downplayed.
Before the first world war, the US possessed one of the biggest socialist parties in the world. In the s, Franklin Roosevelt taxed big fortunes and dispatched some big-name bankers and businessmen to jail.
The Constitution of was drafted by the National Assembly and implemented in September It was France's first attempt at a national constitution. It was fatally compromised by the royal family's flight to Varennes and the king's unwillingness to govern as a constitutional monarch. Additionally, the existence of only a few other countries in the world that do not have a codified constitution, along with recent constitutional reforms such as the Human Rights Act of and the Constitutional Reform Act of , have rekindled the debate on whether or not the UK should codify its constitution (McHarg, ). Additionally, Britain should not adopt a written constitution due to its history, the sources and principles of the constitution, and the practical difficulties that would result from its codification. The debate about the codification of the British constitution has gone through a number of phases in .
In the s, a major American intellectual pundit, Hans Morgenthauthought nothing of arguing that governments must always intervene to prevent "the unhindered growth of private power".
And as large numbers of car bumper stickers affirm, socialism is unAmerican. Many in America now believe it always was. In Britain, too, there are significant aspects of the national past that are often now forgotten or got wrong. As in the US, this can restrict the capacity to react creatively to challenges in the present.
Think, for instance, of the lost campaign for the alternative vote earlier this year. One of the main arguments levelled against its introduction was that interest in and attention to matters constitutional was un-British — and always had been.
The British preferred "a prince in an Aston Martin", one Conservative commentator claimed, to "constitutional tinkering". Observations of this kind are not confined to the right. In large stretches of the past, any suggestion that "Brits" were uninterested in their constitution would have been astounding.
During the 18th century, it was a commonplace that Britons made a positive cult of their constitution, "the best in the world", while in the 19th and early 20th centuries, first men and then women struggled hard, widely and sometimes violently for the vote.
To be sure, the political class resisted the introduction of what its members often dismissively styled "paper constitutions". Yet the relationship between the people of Britain and written constitutional texts has been more extensive and more ambiguous than many now recognise.
Although Britain has, sincehad nothing approaching a single, codified constitution, it did for a very long time possess a broad cult of constitutional writing. The Petition of Right oflike the Bill of Rights ofwas a cherished text. So, most of all, was Magna Carta.
When the jurist William Blackstone published The Great Charter inhe included a cartouche showing Britain as a sylvan paradise, nestling beneath a written text, Magna Carta. Politicians and reformers often commissioned portraits of themselves standing with a copy of the document, just as their American counterparts liked to have themselves portrayed next to copies of the federal constitution.This research is based upon the most recent available data in Facts from earlier years are cited based upon availability and relevance, not to slant results by .
The Constitution of was drafted by the National Assembly and implemented in September It was France's first attempt at a national constitution. It was fatally compromised by the royal family's flight to Varennes and the king's unwillingness to govern as a constitutional monarch.
Vernon Coleman Many constitutional experts believe that Britain isn't actually a member of the European Union since our apparent entry was in violation of British law and was, therefore invalid.
UK should consider a written constitution, says top judge Lord Neuberger If Britain had its own constitution, it "would presumably have primacy over decisions of the Human Rights Court in. Should the UK have a codified Constitution?
(40 marks) A constitution is the fundamental and entrenched rules governing the conduct of an organization or nation state, and it establishes it concept, character and structure. Should the UK have a codified constitution?
Britain would have a two-tier legal system and so constitutional laws would be more clearly identified. The process of judicial review would be more precise and transparent. Liberals argue that it would better safeguard citizens' rights.