The UK Constitution: Time for fundamental reform

In the 2010 JUSTICE Tom Sargant memorial annual lecture, Rabinder Singh called for a written constitution, arguing that the notion of Parliament as ‘sovereign’ should be challenged:

It may even be that there are certain express laws which it would be within the power of Parliament to enact, if they strike at the very heart of our constitutional arrangements, eg to abolish Parliament itself; to repeal the principle of universal suffrage; to abolish the courts or their power of judicial review.

The answer was not to leave the boundaries of these powers to the courts but to agree a written constitution:

I would agree with those who have suggested that it would be better for the courts not to take on the task of deciding that the powers of Parliament are limited under our common law constitution and for there to be public debate about these issues. Ultimately, there should be a written constitution adopted and approved by the people in a referendum setting out the powers of Parliament and the other branches of the state.

Tom Sargant was JUSTICE’s Secretary from the organisation’s foundation in 1957 to his retirement in 1982.


The UK Constitution Time for Fundamental Reform

JUSTICE press release- 14Oct10- We need a written constitution says eminent QC