Examine the Flexibility of UK Constitution

The UK constitution is often described as a flexible or 'unwritten' constitution, as it is not contained in a single written document like many other constitutions around the world. Instead, it is made up of a variety of sources, each with its own degree of flexibility in terms of how it can change over time.

The sources of the UK constitution include statutes, common law, conventions, and authoritative works. Statutes are laws passed by Parliament, and are relatively rigid in that they can only be amended or repealed by further legislation. However, the interpretation of statutes by courts can evolve over time, reflecting changes in society and values.

Common law is another source of the UK constitution, and is based on decisions made by judges in past cases. It is often said that common law is flexible, as it can evolve through judicial interpretation and the development of new legal principles over time.

Conventions are unwritten rules and practices that govern the operation of the UK's constitutional system. They are flexible in that they can change over time as political and social circumstances change. However, conventions are not legally enforceable, and their flexibility can be limited by political considerations and the need to maintain stability.

Finally, authoritative works such as legal textbooks and treatises can influence the development of the UK constitution, but their flexibility is limited by the need to reflect existing legal principles and precedents.

The flexibility of the UK constitution varies depending on the source. Statutes and authoritative works are relatively rigid, while common law and conventions are more flexible. However, even the most rigid sources can be subject to change over time through judicial interpretation and the influence of societal and political changes.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.