In the second of his posts following the ‘Harrogate Meet’, Richard North, EUReferendum, wrote about the need for a constitution.
During September last year a commenter, one Stuart Noyes, who comments on both my blog and that of Richard North’s sent me a draft Constitution. With a view to stirring debate on what ‘form’ a new constitution might take, it is reproduced with Stuart’s agreement. Needless to say, there are some points in this ‘suggested constitution’ with which I do not agree and I shall comment in due course. In order that comments are ‘collated’, it would perhaps be better were reader’s thoughts – especially those that attended Harrogate – posted on Richard’s ‘comment thread’ to his post (assuming of course that registration on Richard’s Forum has been done).
The National Constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
We the People of the United Kingdom, in order to declare our sovereign rights as sole, ultimate, governors of the United Kingdom, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty and prosperity to ourselves and our future generations, for our collective posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Article 1 National Legislative Government
Section 1 Declaration of the Legislative branch of Government
Section 2 The House of Legislature
Section 3 The Senate
Section 4 Rules of Legislative branch of Government
Article 2 National Executive Government
Section 1 Declaration of the Executive branch of Government
Section 2 Election of Prime Minister
Section 3 Contingencies
Section 4 Powers of the Executive branch of Government
Section 5 Removal from Office
Article 3 National Judicial System
Section 1 Declaration
Section 2 Powers of the Judicial System
Section 3 Removal from Office
Article 4 National Constitutional Amendment
Article 5 Redress via Direct Voting
Article 6 The Counties
Section 1 Establishment
Section 2 Powers of County Legislatures
Section 3 Mandatory Constitutional Redress
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a single parliament of the United Kingdom, which shall consist of a House of Legislature and a Senate.
The House of Legislature shall be composed of Members chosen every four years by the people of the United Kingdom. No person shall be a member who have not attained the age of 25 or have been a citizen of the United Kingdom for at least 25 years. Members shall be elected by a simple majority by each constituency containing no more than 75,000 citizens, and no one constituency shall contain less than or greater than 5000 citizens than any other. Persons may stand for election in any constituency if they have primary residence in that constituency at the time of election and 10 years previously. Citizens have a right of recall. Within any constituency at any time if a petition exceeding 10% of the constituency population is handed to the Prime Minister, an election for said constituency will be held within one month. The elected person will serve for the remainder of that term of the House of Legislature.
The Senate of the United Kingdom shall be composed of three members per County and Metropolitan area chosen by their respective Legislatures and should have primary residence in that County at the time of appointment and 10 years previously. Appointments shall be made every four years, taking place 2 years after the last House of Legislature election. A further 100 members shall be appointed by the House of Legislature for life or until resignation and shall consist of citizens not currently elected to any public office and henceforth be invalid for election to the House of Legislature. A further 100 members will be chosen at random from the electorate at large to serve for the same period as the County representatives and be appointed at the same time. No member of the Senate shall be less than the age of 35 and have not resided in the United Kingdom for at least 35 years.
Each House shall appoint its own speaker and officers. All proceedings shall be recorded and published including votes by members along with their names attached. The House of Legislature and Senate may not originate or propose bills. All bills must be read out to and be available to all members of the House of Legislature and all members of said house must have the ability to vote on them. A majority of votes will carry a bill in either house. Once a bill has been proposed by the Executive and passed by the House of Legislature and Senate, it shall become law only if it be judged by the Supreme Court to be consistent and not violate this constitution. No law shall be made unless every citizen within the United Kingdom have had due representation in respect thereof.
All Executive Power shall be vested in a Prime Minister. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years together with the Deputy Prime Minister, chosen for the same term. The election of the Prime Minister shall be conducted at the same time as the Senate appointments.
The Prime Minister shall be elected by a simple majority of the citizens of the United Kingdom; elections being conducted on the same day. Following election, the Prime Minister may appoint ministers to administer various departments of government. If these ministers be selected from the House of Legislature or Senate, they shall be replaced by whatever means they gained office to said House for the remainder of that term.
No Person except a natural born Citizen of the United Kingdom shall be eligible to the Office of Prime Minister; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years.
In case of the removal of the Prime Minister from Office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Deputy Prime Minister, and the House of Legislature may by Law provide in the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the Prime Minister and his Deputy, declaring what Officer shall then act as Prime Minister, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or the end of that four year term.
The Prime Minister shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United Kingdom, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the House of Legislature and Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of each House concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of both Houses, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United Kingdom, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law. The Prime Minister and their ministers shall have sole ability to initiate acts of parliament.
The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or any civil Officers of the United Kingdom, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, fraud or other high crimes and misdemeanours.
The Judicial Power of the United Kingdom shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as parliament may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts shall hold their Offices for life during good behaviour or until resignation.
The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United Kingdom, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all Cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which the United Kingdom or its citizens shall be a Party. The number of Judges of the Supreme Court shall be seven. All judgements of the Supreme Court shall be carried by a simple majority with no abstentions allowed. All laws considered to be contrary to this Constitution must be accompanied by written evidence from each Judge, giving the reason for their own judgement, to be made public.
The Trial of all Crimes shall be by Jury of no less than 12 members. No citizen shall be seized of his person for more than 48 hours without a case being brought to the courts. No person shall then be held for more than thirty days without trial.
Any Judge, at any time may be removed from office when two thirds of both Houses of Legislature vote for such and when ratified by two thirds of a general vote by the electorate.
The Parliament, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several Counties shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by a minimum of two thirds of a general vote by the electorate.
Citizens of the United Kingdom have the right to nullify any law or treaty ratified by their Government and Parliament. This shall be achieved by a petition of no less than three hundred thousand citizens. Successful attainment of this petition will then trigger a nationwide referendum to be conducted on the same day across the nation . The petition shall be carried by a simple majority of votes from the resultant referendum.
The Counties shall include the metropolitan districts of Greater Manchester and Greater London and the boundaries shall be set at the time of this Constitutions’ entry into force. No Counties shall be merged, created, renamed or abolished.
Each County shall adopt a democratic constitution. This requires the approval of the People residing in each County and must be capable of being revised if the majority of those eligible to vote so request.
The Counties are sovereign except to the extent that their sovereignty is limited by this Constitution. All domestic law and taxes applying nationally at the time this Constitution comes into force shall be enacted within each County, except international law, treaties with other nations, maritime law and matters of national defence which shall reside with the National Government. All taxes shall be collected by each County within their borders for their own use, except any new National tax levied by the National Government on citizens of voting age. The National Government shall not distribute its’ own taxes to the County Legislatures other than for natural disasters or other such emergencies and then only at the request of the County Legislature.
Citizens have a right of recall over all Legislative representatives within all County Legislatures. Within any constituency at any time if a petition exceeding 10% of the constituency population is handed to the Executive Head of any County, an election for said constituency will be held within one month. The elected person will serve for the remainder of that term with that Counties’ Legislature.
Citizens of each County have the right to nullify any law ratified by their combined Executive and Legislature. This shall be achieved by a petition of no less than forty thousand citizens. Successful attainment of this petition will then trigger a county-wide referendum to be conducted on the same day across the County . The petition shall be carried by a simple majority of votes from the resultant referendum.