Higher education reform much-needed, but government must take time to get the framework right, says expert – OUT-LAW.com

‘Reforming higher education in England is both long overdue, and vitally needed to protect the sector’s hard-won reputation.’

Full story

OUT-LAW.com, 15th January 2016

Source: www.out-law.com

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Lords veto powers ‘to be curtailed’ – BBC News

Posted December 17th, 2015 in constitutional reform, news, parliament, regulations, veto by tracey

‘David Cameron is preparing to use the full force of the law to clip the wings of the House of Lords after it blocked his welfare cuts, the BBC has learned. A review will say peers should lose their absolute veto over detailed laws known as secondary legislation. Peers will instead be offered a new power to send these laws back to the Commons, forcing MPs to vote again – but will only be able to do this once.’

Full story

BBC News, 16th December 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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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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Speech by the Lord Chief Justice: Judicial independence in a changing constitutional landscape – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted September 17th, 2015 in civil justice, constitutional reform, criminal justice, judges, judiciary, speeches by tracey

‘Speech by the Lord Chief Justice to the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges, 15th September 2015 Association.’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 17th September 2015

Source: www.judiciary.gov.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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The Independent Guide to the UK Constitution: What everyone should know about the most explosive political issue of our time – The Independent

Posted June 8th, 2015 in bills, constitutional reform, human rights, news, repeals, treaties by sally

‘The UK’s democratic liberties are the envy of the world. They are also precarious. We have no written constitution, and the unwritten traditions on which we rely instead are increasingly being called into question. Human rights, the monarchy, Europe, the sovereignty of Parliament, the formation of governments – are there any first principles on which we can agree? On the eve of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, Andy McSmith kicks off a week-long series on a subject of vital national importance’.’

Full story

The Independent, 7th June 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Election ‘most disproportionate in history’ say campaigners – BBC News

Posted June 2nd, 2015 in constitutional reform, elections, news, proportionality, reports by sally

‘The 2015 general election was the “most disproportionate in British history”, the Electoral Reform Society has said.’

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BBC News, 1st June 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Queen’s Speech: ‘English votes for English laws’ plan – BBC News

Posted May 27th, 2015 in constitutional reform, devolution, news, parliament by sally

‘Plans to give MPs from English constituencies an effective veto on laws affecting only England are included in the Queen’s Speech.’

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BBC News, 27th May 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Attempt to scrap Human Rights Act will not get past Lords, Falconer warns Gove – The Guardian

‘A new British bill of rights is expected to be included in the Queen’s speech, but shadow lord chancellor says upper house would be within its rights to reject it.’

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The Guardian, 22nd May 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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HRA Watch: Reform, Repeal, Replace? Cormac Mac Amhlaigh: A Referendum on Repeal of the Human Rights Act? Why not? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘So we finally we have some clarity. Of the many statements, quasi-proposals and rumours affecting constitutional reform which had been swirling around during the term of the last coalition government, we now know which will see the light of day as official government policy. With the surprise Conservative majority government, it is now clear that the Human Rights Act will be repealed and replaced with a British Bill of Rights and there will be a referendum on EU membership by 2017 at the latest. Given that many of these issues had already been touted by one part of the coalition, many, if not most, of the constitutional and political implications, and particularly the difficulties, of these proposals have already been thrashed out in different forums such as the recent report co-edited by my colleague Tobias Lock, as well as, of course, on the pages of this blog. I have read and benefited from these excellent insights and so have nothing to add here to the substance of these issues.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th May 2015

Source: http://ukconstitutionallaw.org

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The watchdog that would have scrutinised the end of the Human Rights Act just got quietly scrapped – The Independent

Posted May 22nd, 2015 in constitutional reform, EC law, human rights, magna carta, news, parliament by sally

‘The parliamentary committee that scrutinises proposed major constitutional changes been scrapped despite turbulent times ahead of the future of the United Kingdon’s governance.’

Full story

The Independent, 21st May 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Dominic Grieve QC MP – Why It Matters that Conservatives Should Support the European Convention on Human Rights – UCL Constitution Unit

Posted December 11th, 2014 in attorney general, constitutional reform, human rights, news, speeches, treaties by sally

‘A British withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights would be “devastating for Britain and human rights throughout Europe, says Dominic Grieve, sacked as Attorney General by David Cameron in July.’

Video

UCL Constitution Unit, 10th December 2014

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

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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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The Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament: Relationships and the Rule of Law – Speech by Lord Chief Justice

The Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament: Relationships and the Rule of Law (PDF)

Speech by Lord Chief Justice

Institute for Government, 1st December 2014

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

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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.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Patrick O’Brien: How active were pre-2009 judges as parliamentarians? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 28th, 2014 in constitutional reform, judges, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘Is the question of anything more than historical interest? The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 precluded judicial peers from contributing to parliamentary debate from 1 October 2009. Many of the Law Lords were opposed to the change, and many judges are at least nostalgic for the past arrangements. The current Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) of England and Wales, Lord Thomas, and his immediate predecessor, Lord Judge, have both publicly regretted the fact that they cannot speak in Parliament on matters of importance to the judiciary. To the extent that the outlook of judges today is shaped partly by the feeling that they have lost a valuable platform, the issue is worth exploring. In fact judges were very infrequent contributors to parliamentary debate. Whilst past Lord Chief Justices – and other judicial peers – may have occasionally used the chamber of the Lords as a platform for articulating judicial viewpoints, all things considered they did so rarely.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th October 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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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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Q&A: How would ‘English votes for English laws’ work? – The Independent

Posted September 23rd, 2014 in constitutional reform, devolution issues, news, parliament by sally

‘Q) What is the concept of English votes for English laws?

A) Basically it’s a smart way of politically packaging the conundrum known as the “West Lothian question” that has been ignored by politicians of all persuasions since it was first posed in the 1970s and Westminster began devolving powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. At its heart is this question: Why should Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs be able to make laws that will not affect the people they represent. For example why should they decide how NHS money is spent when it won’t have any impact on their own constituents?’

Full story

The Independent, 22nd September 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Mark Elliott: Scotland has voted “no”. What next for the UK constitution? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 19th, 2014 in constitutional reform, devolution, news, parliament, referendums, Scotland by tracey

‘After a very long — and at times electrifying — campaign, a modest but decisive majority of those who participated in the referendum on Scottish independence have voted “no”. In one sense, this is the end of the process — even if, bearing in mind the main UK parties’ still-to-be-fulfilled promises about further devolution, it is only the beginning of the end. In another sense, however, it might turn out to be only the end of the beginning.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th September 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Graham Allen: Kick-starting the debate on a codified constitution for the UK – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted August 14th, 2014 in constitutional reform, consultations, news, select committees by sally

‘Does the United Kingdom need a codified constitution? It’s a question on which generations of law students will have had to write essays, burning the midnight oil and scribbling or tapping away into the night, rehearsing the pros and the cons. But I want it to be something else: the start of a lively and passionate public debate that could result in real change to our country’s democratic set-up.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th August 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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