Constitutional Law (Mods)

This course covers the law of the constitution, including the structure and basic principles of the British constitution, and the impact of European Union law on the constitution. It also provides an introduction to the protection of human rights in English law.

It covers the following topics:

Structure: separation of powers, the role of the courts, the powers of the executive (including prerogative powers), devolution (to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), the supremacy of European Community Law as it relates to national law, and the European principle of state liability. Questions will not be set on the detail of the legal effect of directives or on the detail of European Institutions. General principles: constitutional conventions (including ministerial accountability), parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law. Human rights: the structure and effect of the Human Rights Act 1998 (focusing in particular on its impact on parliamentary sovereignty and the judicial role); the application of the Human Rights Act 1998.


Whilst all topics are examinable, not all of the topics in the syllabus are required to be covered in tutorials.  Tutors may focus on some parts of the course at the expense of other areas, and may include additional materials on their reading list that are not included on the core list. 

Learning outcomes

Familiarity with the structures and underlying principles of the British constitution, and the impact of EU Law on the constitution.