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Examine the provision of checks and balances in the UK and US Constitutions
The UK and US constitutions are similar in the fact that they both have checks and balances. This is as a outcome of the separation of powers (or lack of) that each systems have. In the UK, the executive and the legislative branches are fused. The Prime Minister heads the executive and their government proposes and passes legislation based on a Commons majority. There are also committees that check the operate of the government and hold it accountable.In the US, all three branches are completely separate and cannot interfere with every single other’s area of handle. The only exception is the Vice-President, who acts as the President of the Senate, and can pass a tie-breaking vote.In theory, the American President has considerably far more power than the British Prime Minister – he/she is the commander-in-chief and has the power to concern executive orders which have the complete force of law. However, due to the fact of the constitutional technique of ‘checks and balances’, the energy of the US President is seriously lowered and they will usually discover it genuinely difficult to push legislation by way of Congress. In contrast, a British Prime Minister generally heads a government with a majority of seats in the Home of Commons and the capacity to pass virtually any legislation that he/she wishes and there are not numerous checks and balances stopping them from doing so.In the US, as a consequence of the separation of powers, all legislation is introduced by a member of Congress, so even the signature legislation attributed to President Obama on healthcare reform was in fact introduced by a Congressman. In total contrast, almost all legislation in Britain is introduced by the Government with only a extremely tiny quantity of Bills – normally on social troubles with minimal implications for the public purse – introduced by individual Members of Parliament (they are referred to as Private Members’ Bills). This is due to the checks and balances that these constitutions have.In the UK, due to there getting no written constitution, there are statutes rather than official checks and balances like there are in the US.Analyse the amendment processes in the UK and US Constitutions (12)In the UK the amendment process is really straightforward. The present government can merely repeal any present law or bill developed by prior governments and produce any new law or bill supplied they get a majority voting yes in the House of Commons, which they will do if they have a majority government. The amendment approach for creating a new bill is this first there is just a reading of the bill’s title. This is referred to as the very first reading and no debate requires place. There is a vote on the fundamental principle of the bill. Then comes the second reading which is where the main principles of the bill are debated and voted on. Then there is the committee stage exactly where detailed examination of the bill requires place by a Public Bill Committee. Every single clause of the bill is scrutinised and decided upon. The report stage comes next, where MPs can contemplate further amendments to the bill after the committee stage. Lastly there is the third reading where the complete bill is voted upon in its final entity. If the bill has started in the Commons, it will then go to the Home of Lords for its very first reading there and the exact same process then happens.Even so, in the US the procedure is completely different. Article V (where the amendment procedure is talked about) offers two approaches for amending the US Constitution. The 1st technique authorizes Congress, “”whenever two-thirds of each houses shall deem it necessary”” to propose Constitutional amendments. If accepted, the proposed amendment is then sent to the state legislatures for ratification. Three-quarters of the state legislatures require to approve the amendment for it to turn into part of the US Constitution. The second strategy requires Congress, “”on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the numerous states””, to “”call a convention for proposing amendments””Each time the amendment process has been initiated given that 1789, the 1st method has been used. All 33 amendments submitted to the states for ratification originated in the Congress. The second approach has however to be successfully invoked.The structural variations in between the US and UK Constitutions are that the constitutions are completely different in the way that amendments are created. This is due to the cultural differences at the time as the US feared a tyrannical government would be able to create undemocratic laws so to cease that from happening they produced the amendment process really hard which is why there have only been 27 amendments to the US Constitution since its creation. Evaluate the extent of federalism in the US right now (30) It can be mentioned that the US is no longer a federal system. This is simply because despite the fact that it’s stated in the Constitution, the states still don’t have adequate freedom and powers of their own. An example of this is that revenue tax is levied by both the federal government and some state governments when it ought to be levied by only the state governments and then a proportion be given to the central government.Also, Federalism in the US has declined due to the truth that when crises happen such as war or terrorist attacks (9/11), the central government takes more power for itself. The difficulties that have triggered the crises tend to be too massive for individual states to solve on their own so the central government requires much more power in order to solve these problems.Nevertheless, it can also be said that the US is undoubtedly nevertheless a federal system. The federal technique in the US is assured by the codified Constitution, which defines the powers that belong to the central government and these that belong to the states. For example, the Constitution grants the states the correct to equal representation in the Senate, jurisdictional integrity, the proper to a republican type of government, and protection from invasion and domestic conflict, whilst granting the central government the energy to “levy and gather taxes, to spend debts, and to supply for the common defence and common welfare”. The fundamental principle of a multi-level government where power is jointly exercised remains enshrined in law by way of the Constitution. The relations in between national and state governments are regulated under this legal framework, which can't be altered except by means of the complicated approach of constitutional amendment. That is a single of the reasons why federalism is still very significantly alive in the US nowadays. The tenth amendment states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” which indicates that any energy not explicitly stated in the Constitution is provided to the states, not the central government.An additional cause why it can be stated that the US is nevertheless a federal program is that the states nonetheless have so significantly power. Three-quarters of the states still need to have to approve an amendment for it to be ratified which is a enormous energy as they have a fairly large say in how their nation is going to be governed. The Senate and the Residence of Representatives which make up Congress give all their power to the states as the Senate is produced up of 2 representatives from every single state and the Residence of Representatives is made up of at least a single particular person from every state, depending on the population of that state.There is also a particular barrier on how a lot energy the states need to truly get. Soon after all, they are nevertheless element of a bigger nation and so if they were to get even a lot more powers than they already have, they would start off to grow to be more like lots of small separate nations. All of the powers that are necessary for the central government to have (such as the powers to declare war or make treaties), are given by the Constitution and that is how it need to keep.In conclusion, I feel that despite the fact that federalism in the US has absolutely declined more than the years, it is nonetheless quite considerably a huge portion of the country as the states nonetheless have a lot of powers offered to themselves, which means that the central government does not have manage over them and they nonetheless have a quite big say in how their nation is run due to 3-quarters of the state legislatures nonetheless needing to approve amendments to the Constitution.
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