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Discuss the extent to which there is a constitution and separation of powers in the UK. Explain the history and origins of the UK constitutional system

Unit Public Law Level 4     30 Credits Assignment

You are required to discuss the following issues in relation to public law in the UK.

Task 1

Discuss the extent to which there is a constitution and separation of powers in the UK. In your answer, you must:

  • Explain the history and origins of the UK constitutional system. (AC1.3)
  • Assess the role of the UK constitution. (AC1.1)
  • Evaluate the characteristics of the UK constitutional system. (AC1.2)
  • Explain the distinct roles of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. (AC2.1)
    • Assess the significance of the separation of powers’ principle. (AC2.3) For a Merit grade you must:
    • Assess the significance of constitutional conventions in the UK. (ACM1.1)

For a Distinction grade you must:

  • Evaluate the extent of the UK constitution’s adherence to the separation of powers’ principle. (ACD2.1

Task 2

Discuss the creation of legislation and the rules, structures and procedures that relate to parliament and the legislature in relation to UK law.

In your answer, you must:

  • Illustrate the passage of an Act of Parliament. (AC4.1)
  • Explain the meaning of the ‘royal prerogative’. (AC3.2)
  • Assess the limits of parliamentary sovereignty. (AC3.3)
  • Evaluate reforms to the judicial appointment system. (AC2.2)
  • Illustrate the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the ‘rule of law’. (AC3.1)
  • Explain the structure of the devolved powers in the UK. (AC4.2)
    • Appraise the extent of devolved powers of the Scottish Parliaments, Welsh Assembly and the Executive Committee of Northern Ireland. (AC4.3)
    • Appraise the scope and limitations of judicial review. (AC5.1)
    • Evaluate the procedural steps of judicial review. (AC5.2)
      • Distinguish between substantive breaches and procedural impropriety. (AC5.3) For a Merit grade you must:
      • Appraise the extent of the parliamentary privilege. (ACM4.1)
      • Appraise the boundaries between private and public law. (ACM5.1)

For a Distinction grade you must:

  • Discuss the ‘rule of law’ in relation to natural and positive theories of law. (D3.1)
  • Appraise the political advantages and disadvantages of the ‘first past the post’ system. (D4.1)

Guidelines for assessors

The assignments submitted by learners must achieve the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by the assessment criteria for the unit. To achieve a merit or distinction grade, the learners must demonstrate that they have achieved all the criteria set for these grades. Where work for the pass standard is marginal, assessors can take account of any extension work completed by the learners. The suggested evidence listed below is how learners can demonstrate that they have met the required standards.

TASK

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

SUGGESTED EVIDENCE

All

 

Learners must ensure their discussions are organised, comprehensive and easy to follow. In their work learners must take account of each command verb listed in the assessment criteria. They should explain any legal terminology used.

1

LO1 AC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, M1.1

LO2 AC 2.1, 2.3, D2.1

Learners must consider how the constitution and separation of powers operate in the UK. They should explain the UK constitutional system and the institutions involved in the making, application and enforcement of legislation in the UK. They should discuss how far there is a separation of powers within the UK.

2

LO2 AC 2.2

LO3 AC3.1, 3.2, 3.3, D3.1

LO4 AC4.1, 4.2, 4.3, M4.1, D4.1

LO5 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, M5.1

Learners should discuss the making of legislation in the UK and the structures, rules and procedures that impact on how the law is enacted and enforced and those that provide checks and balances on the separation of powers in the UK. They should consider how devolved power affects legislation and consider the importance of reforms to the judicial appointment system and the impact these could have. They should consider the merits of the legislative procedures in place in the UK.


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