Undemocratic Centralism and Neo-Corporatism: The New British Constitution

  • Norman Lewis

Abstract

Professor Lewis argues that Britain's lack of a constitutionally entrenched bill of rights, combined with the failure of the English courts to sufficiently protect individual rights and interests, has served to create a void of adequate protections for those freedoms which seen as being fundamental to a parliamentary democracy. Furthermore, the author argues that the parliamentary system of government in Britain has devolved from a forum of rational discourse, into a party system, and more recently into a quasi-presidential system where ultimate power lies with the Prime Minister. The devolution of the parliamentary system, when combined with the lack of adequate protections of civil liberties, is seen as creating a system of "undemocratic centralism", examples of which are These factors, Professor Lewis argues, are indicative of Britain's need of a more adequate system of checks and balances, and a Charter of Rights similar to Canada's, each of which can be achieved by a new Constitutional "settlement''.