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Question: “In an earlier part of this work stress was laid upon the essential distinction between the “law of the constitution,” which, consisting (as it does) of rules enforced or recognized by the Courts, makes up a body of “laws” in the proper sense of that term, and the “conventions of the constitution,” which consisting (as they do) of customs, practices, maxims, or precepts which are not enforced or recognized by the Courts, make up a body not of laws but of constitutional or political ethics…”
(A.V. Dicey Introduction to the study of the Law of the Constitution 1885, 8E 1915 Liberty Classics, page 277)

Explain, illustrate and comment on this distinction between “laws of the constitution” (“enforced or recognized by the courts”) and “conventions of the constitution” (“not enforced or recognized by the courts”). Discuss whether Dicey’s formulation of the distinction is so absolute that it fails to account effectively for the way constitutional conventions work in the modern UK constitution.

Answer: Constitutional conventions are the primary source of non-legal constitutional rules which govern constitutional behaviour and are considered binding to those whom they apply. Dicey discusses an essential distinction between formal constitutional laws which are definite and informal conventions which are flexible, which is explicitly supported by the treatment of conventions in the court. The distinction is paramount in exploring how the constitution works effectively, however Dicey is ultimately too simplistic and narrow. His distinction fails to explain how conventions form a key relationship with constitutional law, operating alongside laws and empowering constitutional legality. He does not emphasise enough how conventions are essential to the UK Constitution, upholding the Separation o......(short extract)

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Constitutional and Administrative Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 1995 | References: Yes | Date written: January, 2019 | Date submitted: March 11, 2019 | Coursework ID: 1053

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