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?’

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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).’

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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.’

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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.’

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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.’

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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.’

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Daily Telegraph, 4th January 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take? – UCL Constitution Unit

Posted December 8th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, news by sally

‘Four of the five main UK political parties have voiced support for a constitutional convention based on popular participation. But what form should such a convention take? There are a variety of possible models and some would work much better than others. This presentation will set out criteria that can be used to evaluate the options and then draw on evidence from recent reform processes – notably in Canada, Iceland, and Ireland – to see which options are more or less likely to meet those criteria in the UK.’

Katie Ghose – A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take?

Dr Alan Renwick- A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take?

UCL Constitution Unit, 12th November 2014

Source: www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit

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Merris Amos: The UK and the European Court of Human Rights – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted November 25th, 2014 in constitutional law, courts, human rights, judgments, news by sally

‘Now that the furore of the Scottish independence referendum has passed, the attention of politicians and media has once again turned to the dangers of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In his speech to the Conservative Party Conference in late September, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that the ECtHR needed “sorting out”. Three examples of its judgments were used to support this point: the prisoner voting litigation; the limits on deporting suspected terrorists, including Abu Qatada; and the extension of the HRA to the “battle-fields of Helmand”, an issue which the ECtHR has not directly adjudicated upon although it has given judgments concerning events in Iraq. Shortly after, the Conservative Party released its proposals for changing Britain’s human rights laws. Central to this is altering the relationship between the UK and the ECtHR so that its judgments are no longer binding over the UK Supreme Court and that it is no longer able to order a change in UK law. As any law student will know, this would be a waste of time as neither is currently possible in our dualist legal system. The judgments of the ECtHR are only binding in international law. To support these proposals, five examples of ECtHR judgments are given: prisoner voting; artificial insemination rights for some prisoners; limits on the deportation of foreign nationals who have committed crimes; and limits on the deportation of foreign nationals generally. The fifth example is the recent judgment on whole life tariffs which was misleadingly and erroneously portrayed as a decision that murderers cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment. It is clear that the Conservative Party is not expecting to receive votes from prisoners (who have no vote anyway), foreign nationals or members of the armed forces who also enjoy the protection of human rights law on the “battle-fields of Helmand”.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative Powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 is a contentious and oft criticised piece of legislation, although it does have its supporters. The government and the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee have argued it has created a stable environment for longer-term government planning.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Human Rights: The Law – Gresham College

Posted November 18th, 2014 in constitutional law, human rights, international law, news by sally

‘An exploration of Human Rights law as it developed and which draws criticism from the general public. The audience will be invited to consider what, if anything, they complain of in what is nowadays referred to as Human Rights law. The lecture will deal with topics raised and those which are more generally the subject of criticism. Time will be allowed for (structured and time limited) contributions from the audience.’

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Gresham College, 5th November 2014

Source: www.gresham.ac.uk

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Conor Gearty: On Fantasy Island: British politics, English judges and the European Convention on Human Rights – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘My first encounter with the fantasies that underpin English public law came in the 1980s. I had just starting teaching constitutional law and was taking my first year students through Dicey: the independent rule of law; the availability of remedies to all, without fear or favour; the common law’s marvellous protection of civil liberties; how great we were, how terrible the continent; and all the rest of it. Outside the classroom, striking miners were being routinely beaten up by the police, their picketing disrupted by road blocks, their liberty eroded by mass bail conditions. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was having its marches banned and its protests inhibited by ‘no-go’ areas arbitrarily erected by the police around American bases into which it had been decided to move a new generation of nuclear weapons. Some of my students were even beaten up themselves, on a march against education cuts in London – much to their surprise given what I was teaching them.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 13th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Dinah Rose QC: “Give MPs a constitution crash course” – The Lawyer

Posted October 30th, 2014 in barristers, constitutional law, human rights, news, parliament, rule of law, speeches by sally

‘New Members of Parliament should be given training on the constitution and the rule of law, one of the UK’s most prominent barristers has suggested.’

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The Lawyer, 29th October 2014

Source: www.thelawyer.com

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Stop changing laws behind closed doors, say experts – The Independent

Posted October 20th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, devolution, news, referendums by sally

Leading members of the civic society call for the public to be involved in an open discussion on how we should be governed in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum

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The Independent, 19th October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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The Rule of Law and the Future of the Sector – Attorney General’s Office

‘Attorney General speech to London Law Expos on the UK’s long commitment to the Rule of Law.’

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Attorney General’s Office, 14th October 2014

Source: www.gov.uk/ago

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