‘Constitution’ as a Statutory Term

L.Q.R. 2013, 129(Oct), 589-609

20 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2017

See all articles by Tarunabh Khaitan

Tarunabh Khaitan

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Melbourne - Law School; NYU Law School

Date Written: October 1, 2012


There are at least fifteen statutes which use the term 'constitution' or its cognates to refer to the constitution of the United Kingdom (or that of England or Scotland, before the political union of these countries). Of these fifteen pieces of legislation, two date back to the 17th century, one was enacted in the 18th century, another in the 19th century, and one more between 1900 and 1995. In the seventeen years since 1996, at least ten statutes making explicit references to the British constitution have entered the statute books. In this article, I categorise these statutory references to the British constitution, and point to some important legal and constitutional implications of such references. In particular, the growing number of 'constitutional protection clauses' limiting the scope of Henry VIII powers are noted.

This article was first published by Sweet & Maxwell (Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited) in T. Khaitan, “‘Constitution’ as a Statutory Term” (2013) 129 L.Q.R. 589 and this abstract is included by agreement with the Publishers.

Keywords: Political Constitution, Henry VIII powers, Constitutional Statutes, Constitutional Significance

Suggested Citation

Khaitan, Tarunabh, ‘Constitution’ as a Statutory Term (October 1, 2012). L.Q.R. 2013, 129(Oct), 589-609, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2155065 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2155065

Tarunabh Khaitan (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010

NYU Law School ( email )

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New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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