This module introduces students to the core features of the UK constitution. It explores the role of the main institutional actors (the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary) within the UK constitution and the processes of constitutional change.
The radically changing nature of the UK’s territorial constitution through devolution of legislative and executive power to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is evaluated. The role and importance of judicial review as a constitutional practice is explored. The impact of European Union (EU) membership on the UK constitution and constitutional issues surrounding departure from this international organisation is assessed. The UK’s relationship to another treaty, the European Convention on Human Rights, and what is in effect its domestic implementation into UK law via the Human Rights Act 1998 is also explored in detail. Emphasis is placed throughout on the changing nature of the UK constitution – in particular the move from a more political to a more legal constitution – as well as the case for further change.