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Reshaping the British Constitution

Essays in Political Interpretation

Reshaping the British Constitution by Nevil Johnson
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The British constitution is an elusive business, usually dissolving into mere politics when people try to come to grips with it. Reshaping the British Constitution is a critical, sceptical study that seeks to address the issue by first discussing what is involved in having a constitution and, in particular, a customary uncodified constitution like that of Britain. After recalling the almost forgotten tradition of dispersal of powers and checks and balances, Nevil Johnson then turns to the contemporary working of the British constitution, surveying the Monarchy and religious establishment, the central Government and its powers, Parliament and the position of the Judiciary. All this provides a basis for a detailed examination of the principal post-1997 reforms - devolution, the Human Rights Act 1998 and its effects, the failure of House of Lords reform, and the impact of EU membership on the constitution. Johnson concludes that Britain is as far as it ever was from real 'checks and balances' and that the 'elective dictatorship' is even stronger.
Palgrave Macmillan; July 2004
337 pages; ISBN 9780230503366
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Title: Reshaping the British Constitution
Author: Nevil Johnson
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