Empowering the House of Commons: the constitutional justifications for the use of impeachment within the United Kingdom

There has been much debate about whether the UK’s Parliament is in decline in regard to its ability to hold the executive to account. The executive exercises considerable power, both statutory & non-statutory, and effective legislative scrutiny of the executive is often regarded as being hampered by the Westminster system of parliamentary government. In light of the constitutional challenges that the UK is facing and the realisation that the uncodified constitution is liable to be abused and the accepted constitutional norms ignored, this paper asks whether a modified form of impeachment, reimagined for the 21st century, might offer a way for the House of Commons to take on a more proactive role as the guardian of the constitution. This paper will argue that there are strong constitutional justifications for the House of Commons playing such a role & in reformulating what is meant by impeachment and refocusing this to concentrate on protecting accepted constitutional norms.