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The hidden wiring emerges: The Cabinet Manual and the working of the British constitution

constitution, democracy, political ideas, UK politics

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Author(s):  Peter Hennessy, Andrew Blick
Published date:  30 Aug 2011
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This paper presents an analysis of the draft Cabinet Manual, a potentially powerful document that codifies and unites the often unwritten conventions and rules that have governed and guided governmental activity for decades.

However, there are those who discern in it the prototypical nuclear core of what might become a written British constitution. By contrast, the authors think it is more a question of the hidden wiring of the constitution beginning to emerge: the process of codification to which the manual is a significant contribution should not be confused with full codification, as it might generally be understood. Nevertheless, while the manual may not be the constitution, it will impact upon it and may be interpreted as if it were that ultimate document.