Instigator / Pro

The British Constitution is Better than the USA's Constitution.


Waiting for the contender's second argument.

The round will be automatically forfeited in:

More details
Publication date
Last update date
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Characters per argument
Contender / Con
~ 723 / 5,000

A debate as to whether the UK's uncodified constitution is better than that of the United States of America's codified one.

The countries are those recognised as permanent member states of the United Nations Security Council.

'Better' is subjective and the point of the debate. The specific merits or demerits of the specific systems are for participants to debate.

The proposer is arguing that the British Constitution is better rebutting any arguments that the USA's is better. The opposing contender is arguing the USA Constitution is better and rebutting any arguments that the British is better. Shared BoP.

Word Count is high as not to cut people off mid-argument, not nearly required to go that high.
No kritiks.

Round 1
Thank you to BDPTheGreat for accepting this debate.

Apologies for the rather brief arguments, I ran out of timedue to unforeseen circumstances but I wanted to ensure I at least submitted arguments.
As in debate description.

Argument 1: Parliamentary Sovereignty
Under the UK Constitution, the Parliament of the UnitedKingdom is the supreme and sovereign body, deriving its power directly from theCrown. [1] This allows for political and social questions to be chosen by electedrepresentatives in the legislative branch.

This is in stark contrast to the United States where the Constitutionis interpreted by unelected judges which can cause decisions like the recent Dobbsv. Jackson Women’s Health Organization or the 2015 case of Obergerfellv. Hodges. Issues such as abortion and marriage for LGBT+ people are hottopics of political discourse and decisions of the Court rule as a blanketacross a very diverse federal nation without much oversight and no accountability.[2] [3] In contrast, the people voted for representatives with passed the CivilPartnership Act 2004, Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the Abortion Act1967 to decide the law on these issues.

The UK has a method also to ensure that the rights of the citizensare not infringed upon by the legislature in a way that does not take away thepower of the people to elect representatives for themselves. The general rightsof UK citizens are codified in the Human Rights Act 1998 and the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights, the first of which claims can be made in Britishcourts and the latter of which can be taken to the European Court of HumanRights. [4]

The UK courts can make a declaration of incompatibility, astatement saying a British, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish statute isincompatible with human rights. [5] It relies on convention that Parliament willthen review the law and change it to be compatible.

For example, in Blood and Tarbuck v Secretary of State forHealth, the courts ruled that not allowing dead fathers to be on birth certificatesof children born after their deaths was incompatible with the human right ofprivate and family life, home and correspondence (ECHR Article 8). In responseto the ruling, Parliament passed a specific law, Human Fertilisation andEmbryology (Deceased Fathers) Act 2003, to correct this in law. [6]

Argument 2: Flexibility in Time of Crisis
Many aspects of the UK constitution rely on convention andare not specifically written down in statute in many cases. The COVID-19pandemic was an example of where the flexibility of the UK system assistedParliament to be able to take measures that were unforeseeable before thepandemic, something the US Constitution cannot do.

In response to the pandemic, the Parliament passed theCoronavirus Act 2020, which gave the Government the power to delay electionsfor up to a year, to suspend ports, to enforce mask mandates, to restrict gatherings,to close schools etc. [7]

The US Constitution sets specific times where Presidentialterms must end, and even if Congress delayed an election, there would be no Presidentor Vice President for the interim period, with the Speaker of the House of Representativeswould become Acting President for the length of time until an election washeld. [8]

The UK, on the other hand, simply passed an Act ofParliament which allowed them to do so. However, there are safeguards to allow Courtsto force the Government to call a general parliamentary election after fiveyears in office as to ensure democracy remains. [9]

Round 2
Not published yet
Round 3
Not published yet
Not published yet
Round 4
Not published yet
Not published yet