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The Supreme Court and the Miller Case: More Reasons Why the UK Needs a Written Constitution

Payne, Sebastian (2018) The Supreme Court and the Miller Case: More Reasons Why the UK Needs a Written Constitution. The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, . ISSN 0035-8533. (KAR id:67603)

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Abstract

The United Kingdom’s constitution is obscure and open textured. The powers of the state are vested in the Crown which is subject to diverse and contradictory interpretations of its identity. The obscurity of the UK constitution is dysfunctional and needs to be reformed by way of a written constitution. The shortcomings of the UK’s unwritten common law constitution is illustrated in the Supreme Court’s majority judgment in the 2017 Miller case. The common law constitution makes the judges the constituent power and especially vulnerable to criticism when dealing with intensely disputed political matters. In the absence of a written constitution the Supreme Court may lack institutional confidence in its role and authority and seek to portray its decisions as merely technical applications of the law rather than assertions of creative and active constitutional law making. A written constitution would be an opportunity to design an integrated and coherent body of constitutional law, transform the Supreme Court’s status and improve the clarity of its constitutional decision making.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Common law, common law constitutionalism, crown, European Union, Miller case, royal prerogative, Supreme Court, written constitution
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sian Robertson
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 09:26 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:56 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/67603 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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