What Is The Difference Between Laws And Conventions In The British Constitution?


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Obedience to law is based on solid rules whose violation is met with punishment. But violation of usages may not necessitate any positive action.Laws are comparatively more clear and detailed and specific institutions formally exist for rule-making, rule execution and rule enforcement. Notable variations normally exist among the persons of legal profession in respect of the interpretations of usages. As matter of fact, conventions are in the nature of cannons of constitutional morality.

Laws are made consciously at a particular time; whereas political usages have evolutionary growth and are the product of repeated actions.
Theoretically speaking, a convention can be nullified by law and not vise versa. Public opinion, however, can demand the repeal of any undesirable law.

To sum up, it can be asserted that explicit punishment is prescribed for the violation to law while it becomes difficult to determine sometimes whether any usage has been violated or not. A sound and vigilant public opinion stands the most effective guarantee for the enforcement of conventions.

English people adjusted their institutions, values and processes within the conventions instead of making formal amendments in their constitution. Disuse of veto power, for instance, on the part of ruler, is a practice adopted to cope up eight the need of a democratic age.

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