The UK Constitution




a constitution in which laws and practices are set out in a single document.


a constitution protected by a higher court,

and requires special procedures to amend it.


a political system where all legal sovereignty is contained in a single place.

Parliamentary sovereignty the principle that Parliament can make, amend or unmake any law, and cannot bind its successors or be bound by its predecessors.

Statute law laws passed by Parliament.

Common law

laws made by judges where the law does not cover the issue or is unclear.


traditions not contained in law but influential in

the operation of a political system.

Authoritative works

works written by experts describing how a political system is run, which are not legally binding but are taken as significant guides.


formal agreements with other countries, usually ratified by Parliament.

The rule of law

the principle that all people and bodies, including government, must follow the law and can be held to account if they do not.