Positive Political Theory and the UK’s New Parliamentary System of Government

49 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010

See all articles by JoAnne Sweeny

JoAnne Sweeny

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: November 6, 2010

Abstract

The United Kingdom’s government has undergone an incredible constitutional transformation since the Labour Party took power in 1997. The Human Rights Act 1998 and the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 fundamentally altered the balance of power between the three government branches, with the judiciary achieving substantial gains in influence and independence. An unintentional side-effect of these changes is that the British government structure now appears to have a more American style with a stronger separation of powers. As a result, American political science and legal theories such as Positive Political Theory are now more easily used in the UK. However, the UK’s remaining structural differences as well as its different political culture significantly impact the utility of Positive Political Theory in the UK unless those differences are taken into account. This article argues that Positive Political Theory can be used in the UK’s parliamentary system to shed light on the remaining differences between the US and the UK’s governments, as well as Positive Political Theory’s limitations when exported internationally.

Keywords: Positive Political Theory, Human Rights Act, Constitutional Reform Act, United Kingdom, Constitutional Law

Suggested Citation

Sweeny, JoAnne, Positive Political Theory and the UK’s New Parliamentary System of Government (November 6, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1703965 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1703965

JoAnne Sweeny (Contact Author)

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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