To What Extent Has the British Constitution Been Effectively Reformed Since 1997?

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Submitted By grm1512
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The new Labour government took power in 1997 began to reform the British constitution, introducing the Human rights act, Devolution and some reform of the House of Lords among other less important changes. Unfortunately Labour did not complete those reforms and a great deal was left undone. The question since then is how much has the constitution been reformed and how positive effect these reforms have had.
There is no doubt that the HRA has transformed Britain. It created a means by which government and other bodies could be prevented from abusing our rights. The courts were given powers to enforce rights. This has meant that we now have more privacy and have the right to be treated equally under the law.
However, the HRA was not made biding on Parliament and so governments can still abuse rights. This has been seen with anti-terrorism acts which give the police great powers including the ability to arrest suspects without trial. The HRA also does not protect us against the growth of surveillance and stop search powers or the prevention of some demonstrations. Similarly, the FOI act has been partly effective as it enabled us to know about the MP’s expense scandal and other aspects of government. However government can still conceal sensitive information thus perhaps the act should have been stronger.
The introduction of Devolution as well supported in Scotland and Wales has made a huge difference in those countries as well as in Northern Ireland, the people of those countries support it and have demanded more. Thus the main issue is that devolution did not go far enough perhaps. As some also suggest that there should be proper federalism for these countries to have true independence. So it has been effective in decentralising government, but not effective because there is still an appetite for more independence particularly in Scotland and which is growing in…...

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