Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 14 - 15 of 53

Question 14

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Describe in Detail

Essay▾

“The king of England reigns but does not rule”. Explain.

Explanation

  • The powers of the king are immense and important in the British constitution but this is only in theory. In actual practices, the powers of the king have been transferred to the ministers who actually exercise these powers and are responsible for the day to day administration of the country.

  • As such the powers exercised by the king are actually exercised by the ‘King institution’- The Crown. The Crown includes all centers of authority viz the cabinet, the ministers and the parliament. Whatever the crown does it has an ornamental cap on it- the king/queen, whosoever heads the state. It was this fact that led Sir Henry Main to remark that the king of England reigns but does not rule.

  • The real custodian of the powers of the king are the ministers who direct every action of the king. Even the parliament has assumed a subordinate position.

Question 15

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Write in Short

Short Answer▾

“Conventions are the unwritten maxim of the UK’s Constitution”. Discuss.

Explanation

  • The conventions are those rules, understandings, precedents, customs and traditions which have been definitely recognized by the English society due to their practical utility and regarded as sacred laws of the constitution. Prof. Dicey defines them as “the rules for determining the mode in which the discretionary powers of the Crown ought to be exercised”. The conventions are the unwritten rules of conduct or political morality.

  • They have not been formed in one day or at a particular moment of history. They are result of long historical growth and are rooted in the practices and habits of the English people who have followed them for a long time and recognized them as a part of English law. J. S. Mill has called them the “unwritten maxims of the constitution”.

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