Graham John Wheeler: When Should the Lords Reject Secondary Legislation? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On 26 October 2015, the House of Lords debated the Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015. The Regulations were approved, but subject to two riders. Critics claimed that these riders constituted “fatal” amendments, and that they were therefore tantamount to a rejection of the legislation. It was argued that it is constitutionally improper for the House of Lords to reject financial legislation in this way.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 7th December 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Speech by President of the Queen’s Bench Division: Justice for the 21st Century – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

‘Sir Brian Leveson, President of the Queen’s Bench Division gave the Caroline Weatherill Lecture “Justice for the 21st Century” in the Isle of Man on 9 October 2015.’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judicairy, 12th October 2015

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

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Ruvi Ziegler: The ‘Brexit’ Referendum: We Need to Talk about the (General Election) Franchise – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 7th, 2015 in bills, constitutional law, EC law, elections, news, referendums by sally

‘In its 27 May 2015 Queen’s speech, the Conservative government announced that ‘early legislation will be introduced to provide for an in/out referendum’. The following day, it introduced the European Union Referendum Bill, which passed its third reading in the House of Commons on 7 September 2015 (by 316 votes to 53). The second reading in the House of Lords is scheduled for 13 October 2015. Following the recommendation of the Electoral Commission, the initially proposed question: ‘Should the UK remain a member of the European Union?’ was replaced with an arguably more neutral question: ‘should the UK remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union’.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 7th October 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Joshua Folkard: Horizontal Direct Effect of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the English Courts – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 23rd, 2015 in constitutional law, EC law, human rights, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has recently pronounced (twice) that some provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union have horizontal direct effect. These decisions provide some guidance as to the legal and constitutional status of the Charter (at least from an English perspective). The Court of Appeal in both cases held that this conclusion required the disapplication of primary UK legislation. These decisions therefore raise an issue as to the appropriate balance of power between Parliament and English judges.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 23rd September 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Secret prosecution of terrorism suspect raises ‘difficult constitutional issues’ – The Guardian

‘The decisions that led to a terrorism suspect being prosecuted in conditions of almost unprecedented secrecy raise “really difficult constitutional issues” about the independence of prosecutors from government, the head of the judiciary in England and Wales warned on Wednesday.’

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The Guardian, 1st July 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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‘English votes for English laws’ plan to be set out – BBC News

‘The government is expected to set out its proposals to give MPs from English constituencies the final say on laws affecting England only.’

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BBC News, 2nd July 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Paul Bernal: Privacy, Surveillance and Brexit…. – UK Constitutional Law Association

An Englishman’s home is his castle, so the old saying goes, and it might be thought that the implication is that the English place a special importance on privacy. The reverse, however, seems to be the case, when the law is considered – for much of the law that provides protection for our privacy, particularly in relation to surveillance, does not originate in the UK but in Europe. With the perfect storm of possible ‘Brexit’ and the potential repeal of the Human Rights Act (HRA), that might leave our privacy in an even more precarious state than it currently is. The so-called ‘British Bill of Rights’ has yet to see the light of day: one of the key questions could be what provision it makes for privacy, particularly in relation to the internet and other forms of communications.
Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 18th June 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it – Independent

Posted June 1st, 2015 in bills, constitutional law, devolution, human rights, news, Scotland by michael

Scotland could be allowed to retain the Human Rights Act even if Westminster sidelined the European Court in favour of an “English” Bill of Rights, according to new plans being considered by Michael Gove.

Full story

Independent, 31st May 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Brantley and others v Constituency Boundaries Commission and others – WLR Daily

Posted May 21st, 2015 in boundaries, constitutional law, elections, law reports, Privy Council by sally

Brantley and others v Constituency Boundaries Commission and others [2015] UKPC 21; [2015] WLR (D) 209

‘A proclamation signed by the Governor General authorising alteration of the constituency boundaries in the territories of St Christopher and Nevis was made, under section 119 of the Constitution, when it was published in the Official Gazette; and it came into force, pursuant to section 50(6) of the Constitution, on the next dissolution of Parliament after it was made. Therefore, where the Governor General had dissolved Parliament with effect from 16 January 2015 and fixed the election date for 16 February 2015, and, by proclamation published in the Official Gazette on 20 January, authorised alteration of the constituency boundaries, the proclamation, having been made after the dissolution of Parliament, if valid only came into force on the dissolution of the Parliament elected in February 2015 and did not govern the 2015 election.’

WLR Daily, 11th May 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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HRA Watch: Reform, Repeal, Replace? Mark Elliott: Could the Devolved Nations Block Repeal of the Human Rights Act and the Enactment of a New Bill of Rights? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘In my last post on the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the enactment of a British Bill of Rights, I considered the extent to which the House of Lords might thwart the Government’s plans. My conclusion was that the Lords might plausibly assert itself so as to delay the legislation, traditional understandings of the Salisbury Convention notwithstanding, but that the Parliament Act 1911 clearly deprives the Lords of any absolute veto. What, however, of the devolved nations? Could they block the implementation of the UK Government’s proposals?’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 16th May 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Attorney General Dominic Grieve questions what Tories trying to achieve by replacing Human Rights Act with British Bill of Rights – The Independent

‘The former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has questioned what the Conservative Party is trying to achieve through its plan to replace the Human Rights Act with a new British Bill of Rights.’
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The Independent, 17th May 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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HRA Watch: Reform, Repeal, Replace? Tobias Lock: Legal implications of human rights reform in the UK – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted May 15th, 2015 in constitutional law, devolution, news, treaties by tracey

‘The return of a majority Conservative government in last week’s general election in the UK has made the Conservative Party’s plans for reforming human rights law in the United Kingdom a likely prospect. It is recalled that on 3 October 2014, the Conservative Party published its policy document ‘Protecting Human Rights in the UK’ which sets out its proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and replace it with a new British Bill of Rights. In addition, the policy document also raised the prospect that the UK might withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 15th May 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Benedict Douglas: Why Human Rights Have Not Been Accepted in the UK – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted May 6th, 2015 in constitutional law, human rights, news by sally

‘The major modern and historic human rights documents recognise human rights as inalienably and universally attaching to individuals by virtue of their humanity. However, this justification for rights possession in dignity or any other foundational human characteristic is absent from the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). This lack of recognition of a deeper fundamental basis for Convention rights underlies both the euro-sceptic and party political hostility to rights in the UK, and the lack of ownership of rights amongst the public recognised by the Commission on a Bill of Rights. If the conception of human rights accepted and respected within the UN rights documents it to take root in the UK, our courts or a new Bill of Rights must recognise a moral, more fundamental, justification for human rights.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 5th May 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Act 2015 – legislation.go.uk

Posted April 2nd, 2015 in constitutional law, legislation, parliament, peerages & dignities by sally

House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Act 2015 published

Full text of Act

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

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Alison Young: R (Evans) v Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21 – the Anisminic of the 21st Century? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On Thursday 26th March the Supreme Court concluded, to the delight of The Guardian and the dismay of the Prime Minister, that communications between Prince Charles and government Ministers – the so-called ‘black spider memos’ – should be released. This has been a long saga, involving issues of freedom of information, discussion of constitutional conventions surrounding the behaviour of a Monarch in training, which now also includes the principle of legality and the nature of the relationship between parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. Such a cornucopia of delights for constitutional lawyers guarantees that the case has earned its place in the ‘Constitutional law Case list Hall of Fame’, with the promise of further delight as the memos, once released and savoured, cast an insight into the relationship between the Crown and the Government.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 31st March 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Recall of MPs Act 2015 – legislation.gov.uk

Posted April 1st, 2015 in constitutional law, legislation, parliament by sally

Recall of MPs Act 2015 published

Full text of Act

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

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Juliet Wells: Reforming Electoral Law: a Comment on the Law Commission’s Joint Consultation Paper – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted February 25th, 2015 in constitutional law, elections, Law Commission, news, reports by sally

‘Electoral policy is constantly on the march. Given that the rules prescribing the voting systems to be used in different elections, the extent of the franchise, constituency boundaries, and eligibility to stand play a major part in shaping government and the broader exercise of public power by those within it, it is hardly surprising that macro-electoral policy regularly appears as the subject of vigorous political debates. There are, indeed, no less than seven Bills (including Private Members’ Bills) currently before Parliament relating to significant aspects of the voting system in the UK – including the Recall of MPs Bill, the Voting Age (Comprehensive Reduction) Bill, the Voting (Civic Obligation) Bill, and the Overseas Voters Bill. Other key issues at the forefront of public discussion include proposed changes to the voting system itself, especially in an era of party proliferation, and the suggested inclusion of ‘None of the Above’ as an option on ballot papers, as one response to entrenched (and seemingly increasing) popular disengagement from politics.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th February 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom Constitution – Lecture by Lady Hale

The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom Constitution (PDF)

Lecture by Lady Hale

The Bryce Lecture, 5th February 2015

Source: www.supremecourt.uk

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Human Rights at the Crossroads? – BBC Unreliable Evidence

Posted February 6th, 2015 in constitutional law, elections, human rights, news, parliament, Supreme Court, treaties, veto by sally

‘Clive Anderson and guests get behind the political rhetoric to debate the potential impact on the rights of British citizens if the Government carries out a proposal to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a “more British” Bill of Rights.’

Listen

BBC Unreliable Evidence, 24th January 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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English votes for English laws plan ‘could end hunting ban’ – Daily Telegraph

Posted January 5th, 2015 in constitutional law, devolution, elections, hunting, news, parliament by sally

‘Constitutional shake-up would shift the balance at Westminster in favour of repealing the Hunting Act 2004, Countryside Alliance believes.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 4th January 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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