Three Illustrative Blueprints
1 The series of three illustrative blueprints,
of which this is the first (Constitutional Code), has been prepared
in the belief that a consideration of detailed alternative models
on how a codified constitution might be designed and drafted will
better inform and advance the debate on the desirability - or
not - of writing down the constitution into one documentary source.
2 The characteristics of the three blueprints
or models of codified constitution, stated briefly, are -
(a) Constitutional Code - a document sanctioned
by Parliament but without statutory authority, setting out the
essential existing elements and principles of the constitution
and workings of government.
(b) Constitutional Consolidation Act - a consolidation
of existing laws of a constitutional nature in statute, the common
law and parliamentary practice, together with a codification of
essential constitutional conventions.
(c) Written Constitution - a document of basic
law by which the United Kingdom is governed, including the relationship
between the state and its citizens, an amendment procedure, and
elements of reform.
3 Each of the blueprints is self-contained in
the sense that each could serve as a particular model for codifying
the constitution. Taken together, however, they could be regarded
as three stages or building blocks to go through in the process
of working towards a written constitution of the UK - identifying
the basic principles and elements of government and the constitution;
establishing the detailed contents and boundaries of existing
constitutional law as expressed in statute, the common law, parliamentary
practice, and convention; then preparing a modern documentary
constitution of fundamental law that binds the working of the
state and its relationship with its citizens.