This has come up before, and I think it's the biggest fundamental difference in what we are talking about. It was a source of big debate when the constitution was ratified. Do we have to write down the limits of the government to define our "rights" or in writing them down, are we causing more problems? Thus the "Bill of Rights" was argued over a lot. Ultimately it was decided that we couldn't trust our government not to limit itself, so limits must be placed on it. - One side effect of that decision was that the government was essentially given permission to work right up to the boundaries defined by our rights, which really resulted in an "us vs. them" feeling. (The seeds of which already existed). This means that our laws need to be written down, because the people of the US don't trust our Judges, or our police to "be creative" and fair. Especially when there are so many minorities who are willing (and often need to) cry "foul" when they aren't treated like rich white people. (Which of course the US has never done -- :angel. We need to have our laws written down ad nauseum both to protect the minorities, the poor, and the "lower class," as well as to protect the Judicial branch from accusations of discrimination and predjuce. I know 200 years doesn't seem like a lot of time, as far as national history goes, but we've have 200 solid years of culture of distrust of the Government, and 200 years of having our laws spelled out ad nauseum -- not only Federally, but, like the UK, having different laws in different states, different counties, and different cities. (Insert your equivalent terms here.) It simply goes against the very grain of US culture to look at a broadly-written law, and understand that it is open to interpretation and individual application by the police, let alone the judges. While respected and often admired here, they simply aren't trusted with that much power. Here where I live, my family has a good name, and is known by the police force, and I could do very well, probably even have more freedom than I do now, if the police were able to be subjective about their laws. But my friend, who is Hawaiian, often gets mistaken for a Mexican, and the specific, written laws have protected him a lot from harassment. With that in mind, I would like to know (with all respect) how do you protect the police in England from being accused of discrimination or harrasment against someone from, say Ireland? I know there are still deep ethnic divisions there, how do you keep people from rioting or such if they feel they have been mistreated by the Judiciary from another (country?) within the UK? In short, how do you avoid your own version of the Rodney King riots?