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?’

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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.’

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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.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th August 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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MPs call for anniversary debate on ‘new Magna Carta’ – BBC News

‘The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta next year is the right time for a fresh debate on the pros and cons of a written constitution, MPs have said.’

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BBC News, 10th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Andrew Le Sueur: Imagining judges in a written UK Constitution – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The tide of interest (among those who care about these things) in the idea of a written, codified constitution for the United Kingdom rises and falls. At the moment the tide is quite high, but certainly not high enough to flow into the estuaries of government policy making.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th May 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Graham Gee: The Lord Chief Justice and Section 5 of the Constitutional Reform Act – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted April 14th, 2014 in constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The Constitutional Reform Act redrew relationships between the senior judiciary and Parliament in a number of ways. Amongst the most significant was removing the right of the LCJ to speak in the Lords. Earlier this month, the new LCJ Lord Thomas repeated the lament of his immediate predecessors that it was a mistake to deprive the LCJ of the right to address Parliament on the floor of the House on important matters relating to the administration of justice. In this context, some have read the LCJ’s suggestion of a new approach to s5 of the CRA as significant. Drawing on interviews conducted between 2011-13 as part of an AHRC-funded project on The Politics of Judicial Independence, I want to shed some light on tensions that have arisen about the use of s5.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th April 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Alexander Horne: Is there a case for greater legislative involvement in the judicial appointments process? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 28th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The dramatic increase in public law and human rights cases coming before the UK Supreme Court (and the Appellate Committee before it) means that the UK’s top court is more frequently determining essentially socio-political questions. In addition, in recent years, the judiciary has pressed for a rather more expansive definition of judicial independence, with a greater emphasis on the institutional independence of the judiciary. This has tended to lead to more powerful leadership roles, for senior judges in particular.

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 27th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Scot Peterson: Constitutional Entrenchment in England and the UK – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 25th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, EC law, news, referendums by sally

‘Frequently people think that there are only two ways address flexibility in a constitution: to legally entrench an entire document and to protect it with strong judicial oversight, or to have a political constitution and a sovereign parliament, which, in the words of A.V. Dicey, ‘has … the right to make or unmake any law whatever….’ One aspect of this sovereignty is that parliament cannot bind itself: ‘That Parliaments have more than once intended and endeavoured to pass Acts which should tie the hands of their successors is certain, but the endeavour has always ended in failure.’’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Meg Russell: The Byles/Steel bill – unless amended – holds grave dangers for the Lords – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On Friday 28 February Dan Byles’ Private Member’s Bill on Lords reform completed its Commons passage. It is now in the Lords, and will be sponsored by David Steel. The bill, which allows retirement from the Lords and expulsion of non-attendees and serious criminals, has been presented as a small, uncontroversial “housekeeping” measure. But as already argued in an earlier blog post, as currently drafted it would in fact introduce a very major change that would alter the Lords fundamentally, and in very undesirable ways.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 6th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Mike Gordon: Constitutional Reform under the Coalition Government – UK Constitutional Law Group

Posted December 19th, 2013 in constitutional reform, news, parliamentary papers by tracey

‘The Government’s response to the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s (PCRC) report Do we need a constitutional convention for the UK? is in many ways a rather unremarkable document (Cm 8749, November 2013). The PCRC’s report (Fourth Report of Session 2012-13, HC 371) was published on 28th March 2013, and concluded that there was “a need to consider both how the increasingly devolved parts of the Union interact with each other, and what we, as residents of the UK, want the Union to look like going forward”. As a result the PCRC suggested that the Government “consider, among other options, preparations for a UK-wide constitutional convention, including decisions about its form and organisation, and the process of calling for evidence”, which would be held in the aftermath, and regardless of the result, of the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014.’

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 18th December 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Lord Judge – Constitutional Change: Unfinished Business – UCL Constitutional Unit

Posted December 18th, 2013 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, human rights, judiciary, news by sally

‘Lord Judge delivered a lecture on the topic of “Constitutional Change: Unfinished Business”.’

Video

UCL Constitutional Unit, 17th December 2013

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

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Newspapers’ plans for post-Leveson press regulation rejected – The Guardian

Posted October 8th, 2013 in charters, constitutional reform, media, news, Privy Council, victims by sally

“Plans on how to regulate the press industry have been delayed until later this month after a difficult meeting of the key players rejected the regulatory plans proposed by the industry but also could not agree whether to back the royal charter passed by parliament.”

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The Guardian, 7th October 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Roger Masterman: A Tale of Competing Supremacies – UK Constitutional Law Group

“In a recent interview in The Spectator, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling MP, was given another opportunity to recite the now characteristic Tory Siren call relating to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg court.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 30th September 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Crowd Sourcing the UK Constitution – UK Constitutional Law Group

Posted September 30th, 2013 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, internet, news by sally

“This is a major initiative being undertaken by LSE Law Department and the LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) together with Democratic Audit UK and LSE Public Policy Group.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 28th September 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Media influence on law reform – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted July 31st, 2013 in constitutional reform, EC law, media, news, public interest by sally

“It is clear that public opinion affects law reform. MPs are democratically elected and thus to become elected MPs are naturally influenced by the will of the public. As legislation is put forward and created by those influenced by public opinion, there is no doubt that this has a significant influence on the development of legislation.”

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 30th July 2013

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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How far should our courts venture onto the battlefield? – The Guardian

Posted July 25th, 2013 in armed forces, constitutional reform, news, parliament, select committees, war by tracey

“If you think there are clear rules governing the UK’s use of armed force, you would be wrong.”

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The Guardian, 24th July 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Scott Stephenson: The Future of Rights Reform in the Age of the Referendum – UK Constitutional Law Group

Posted July 18th, 2013 in bills, constitutional reform, human rights, news, referendums by tracey

“In the last fortnight, two major pieces of constitutional reform returned to the political agenda. The House of Commons considered Conservative MP James Wharton’s private Member’s Bill that would provide for a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU. The Bill, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, will have ‘the full support of the Conservative Party’. Several days later, senior members of the Conservative Party made statements indicating that the Party would make ‘wholesale changes’ to the country’s system of human rights protection if it obtains a majority in Parliament at the next election. Proposed changes include repeal of the Human Rights Act and withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. In this post, I consider whether the former might have implications for the latter—whether the rise of the referendum could and/or should affect the future of rights reform in the UK.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 17th July 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Robert Hazell: The Royal baby, the Rules of Succession, and the Realms – UK Constitutional Law Group

“In anticipation of the birth of the Royal baby, Parliament passed the Succession to the Crown Act in April 2013. It provides that in future the eldest child will be next in line of succession, whether it is a girl or a boy. The law will not come into force in time for the Royal birth, but the new baby when born will be next in line. This Blog post explains the background, and the difficulties involved in changing the rules of succession.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 15th July 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Patrick O’Brien: Does the Lord Chancellor really exist? – UK Constitutional Law Group

“On 12 June 2003 a minor constitutional revolution began with the resignation of Lord Irvine as Lord Chancellor and the announcement of a package of reforms including the abolition of his office and the creation of a Supreme Court, later to become the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA). To commemorate the tenth anniversary of these events, the Judicial Independence Project held a private seminar on 12 June 2013 at which some of those directly involved in the changes spoke about the experience and the effects it has had on constitutional change. A note of the seminar is available here. In part the seminar brought out the drama and the comedy of the day itself. An old friendship ended in acrimony: Irvine had been the Prime Minister’s pupil master and had introduced him to his wife. At the same time the senior judiciary, at an away day with civil servants, were taken by surprise by the announcement and had to have the details explained to them whilst they huddled, increasingly angry, around a single phone in a country pub.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 26th June 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Privatising the courts: if anyone needs advice, it’s the judiciary – The Guardian

Posted June 25th, 2013 in constitutional reform, contracting out, courts, judiciary, news, tribunals by sally

“The judges have nothing to gain and everything to lose by negotiating with Chris Grayling in private.”

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The Guardian, 25th June 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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