Constitutional Law - Main Topics of Study

The Nature of Constitutional and Administrative Law

  • Scope
  • Administrative law
  • Public law
  • The functions of government
  • Doctrine of the separation of powers

General Characteristics of the British Constitution

  • Unitary
  • Unwritten
  • Flexible
  • Conventions
  • No distinct system of administrative law
  • The rule of law

Parlimentary Supremacy

  • Authentication of acts of parliament

The United Kingdom and the European Communities

  • Sources of domestic law
  • European Communities Act 1972
  • Impact of community law

Constitutional Conventions

  • Judicial acknowledgement
  • Purpose
  • Observance – royal prerogative and the cabinet system
  • Lords and Commons
  • UK and Commonwealth

The High Court of Parliament

  • The House of Lords
  • The House of Commons
  • Procedure on legislation

The Royal Prerogative

  • Domestic affairs
  • Foreign affairs

The Cabinet and the Privy Council

  • Legal status

Delegated Legislation

  • Nature and purpose
  • Sub-delegation
  • Safeguards

Administrative Tribunals

  • Reasons for them
  • Ministerial decisions and inquiries

Judicial Control of Public Authorities

  • Liability and remedies
  • Appeals to the Privy Council


Davy v Spelthorne BC (1984)
Bowles v Bank of England (1913)
Congreve v Home Office (1976)
Waddington v Miah (1984)
Cheney v Conn (1968)
McCarthy v Smith (1979)
Prince v Secretary of State for Scotland (1985)
Garden Cottage Foods v Milk Marketing Board (1984)
EC Commission v UK (1982)
Malone v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (1979)


Recommended Reading

Main Text:
Unlocking Constitutional and Administrative Law – Mark Ryan (Hodder Education)