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'liberalism Is Closely Associated With The Protection Of Human Rights And The Promotion Of Constitutional Reform' Discuss (30)

1045 words - 5 pages

Liberalism refers to the political school of thought which revolves around enabling individuals whilst also protecting them in order to preserve their freedom and liberty. A positive view of human nature underpins the liberal belief that all people are rational and considerate and are able to decide which types of political organisations etc. can best protect individual needs and promote individualism. Liberalism aims to facilitate a political culture which is both tolerant and pluralistic. The pillars on which liberalism was built on suggest that the protection of human rights as well as the promotion of constitutional reform is both intrinsic in liberal aims and ideology.

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This requirement necessitates constitutional government- government as laid down in rules. Constitutions formulate the conditions under which limited government operates and applies the constraints that are needed to ensure and preserve this. External constraints lie in the law and / or in the constitution. In the absence of codification, such as in the UK, constraints to government rest in statute law and other sources of the constitution such as treaty law, common law, conventions and works of authority such as A.V. Dicey’s The Rule of Law. Internal constraints rest upon checks and balances within the three branches of government. Montesquieu’s maxim ‘…power should be a check to power…’ is in line with the idea that power needs to be regulated in order to ensure freedom and protection. These concepts are best protected by a separation of powers which is present in both the UK and US political systems. It is exemplified in the UK system through the presence of judicial independence and neutrality as well as things like treaties, the Human Rights Act and devolution (liberals supported Irish Home Rule).

Liberals desire for protection of liberty through constitutional reform is shown through support for a written constitution within the UK which would entrench our rights/laws thus absolutely ensuring protection from tyrannous government. This is also shown through their support of labours proposed Human Rights Act in 2007. This shows the importance of constitutional reform for liberals and exemplifies how dependent the successes of other important themes are on it. Examples in recent years of liberal reforms include electing future MPs using STV and reducing their numbers by 150, capping donations to parties to a maximum of £25,000 and setting a £10 million annual party spending cap and giving the people of England the choice of having directly elected regional assemblies.

Liberalism also has a close tie to human rights. Human rights are rights originating from Natural rights to which people are entitled to by virtue of being human. These rights are universal, fundamental, indivisible and absolute. John Lock and Thomas Jefferson had large amounts of influence over the development of liberal...

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