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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R (Lord Carlile of Berriew QC and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department – Supreme Court

R (on the application of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC and others) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) [2014] UKSC 60 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 12th November 2014

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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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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‘Wholly antiquated’: lord chief justice on court technology – LegalVoice

‘Our “antiquated” courts faced “severe crisis” without significant investment, the lord chief justice said yesterday. Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd offered journalists a judicial perspective on the financial pressures being imposed upon the courts at his annual press conference.’

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LegalVoice, 13th November 2014

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

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Regina (Lord Carlile of Berriew and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department – WLR Daily

Regina (Lord Carlile of Berriew and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: [2014] UKSC 60; [2014] WLR (D) 479

‘The Home Secretary’s decision to maintain an order excluding the entry into the United Kingdom of a dissident Iranian politician, invited by members of the Houses of Parliament to meet them in London to discuss human rights and democratic issues in Iran, was not a disproportionate interference with their right to freedom of expression under article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: the Home Secretary was entitled to accept the recommendation of the Foreign Secretary that to permit such entry would risk jeopardising the United Kingdom’s diplomatic and economic interests and might provoke a violent reaction in Iran resulting in damage to British property and endangering the safety of British and local personnel.’

WLR Daily, 12th November 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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English laws options ‘due soon’, says Hague – BBC News

Posted November 3rd, 2014 in devolution, news, parliament, referendums, Scotland by sally

‘Options to give English MPs more say over laws affecting England will be set out over the coming weeks, the House of Commons leader William Hague has said.’

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BBC News, 2nd November 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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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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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.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th October 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Three strikes and out? Major defeats for Government Judicial Review reform plans in the Lords – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted October 28th, 2014 in bills, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘Last night saw the important Report Stage consideration of Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill in the House of Lords. Angela Patrick, Director of Human Rights Policy at JUSTICE provides a summary.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 28th October 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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House of Lords votes against Grayling’s plans to restrict judicial review access – The Guardian

Posted October 28th, 2014 in bills, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has suffered a defeat in a key House of Lords vote on his plans to curtail access to judicial review, which would have made it harder to challenge government decisions in court.’

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The Guardian, 27th October 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Lord Chancellor should be “very senior lawyer” – Legal Futures

Posted October 17th, 2014 in barristers, judiciary, lord chancellor, news, parliament, rule of law by tracey

‘The Lord Chancellor should be a “very senior lawyer”, Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the Bar Council, has said. Justice secretary Chris Grayling told the House of Lords constitution committee this week that there were “no disadvantages” to the Lord Chancellor being, like him, a non-lawyer.’

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Legal Futures, 17th October 2014

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Bar Council Statement on the role of the Lord Chancellor – The Bar Council

Posted October 17th, 2014 in barristers, inquiries, judiciary, lord chancellor, parliament, press releases by tracey

‘Following the Lord Chancellor’s evidence on October 15 2014 to the House of Lords
Constitution Committee’s inquiry into the role of the Lord Chancellor, Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the Bar Council, said: “Justice is not a service that governments can choose to provide or not. It is a vital part of our constitutional arrangements. It needs to be defended and promoted to make the separation of powers a continuing reality and thereby to safeguard our democratic way of life for the future.” ‘

Full press release

The Bar Council, 16th October 2014

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

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Lord Neuberger on the Supreme Court: Five key cases from its first five years – The Independent

‘From euthanasia to high-speed rail, the highest in the land has an almost limitless remit.’

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The Independent, 12th October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Tories ‘would curb human rights rulings’ from Europe – BBC News

Posted October 3rd, 2014 in human rights, news, parliament, political parties, veto by tracey

‘Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said if the Tories won the election, a new Bill of Rights would give UK courts and Parliament the “final say”.’

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BBC news, 3rd Ocotber 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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MP refers Sunday Mirror to police and press regulator over sex sting – The Guardian

‘One of the Conservative MPs who was contacted by a Sunday Mirror reporter posing as a woman interested in sex is to write to the Metropolitan police over the tabloid sting. Mark Pritchard said he would contact Scotland Yard and make a formal complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) over accusations of entrapment.’

Full story

The Guardian, 29th September 2014

Source: www.guardian.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?’

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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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Human rights legislation in the UK: a cut-out-and-keep guide – The Guardian

Posted September 1st, 2014 in EC law, elections, human rights, jurisdiction, news, parliament, prisons by sally

‘Ever wondered what the difference is between the human rights convention and the Human Rights Act? This may help.’

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The Guardian, 1st September 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Graham Gee: Do Lord Chancellors defend judicial independence? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted August 18th, 2014 in inquiries, judiciary, lord chancellor, news, parliament, pensions, statutory duty by tracey

‘As part of its inquiry into the office of Lord Chancellor, the Constitution Committee asks whether “new” (i.e. post-2003) Lord Chancellors have actually defended judicial independence in line with their customary and now statutory duty to do so. I was asked for examples earlier this summer when appearing before the Committee (with Andrew Le Sueur and Patrick O’Brien). I tried to identify some, but rather garbled my answer. Earlier in the year I also sketched some thoughts about Lord Chancellors in Public Law, but struggled to find clear-cut examples. One reason is that collective cabinet responsibility and the confidentiality of exchanges between Lord Chancellors and judges mean that outsiders will seldom have a full picture of what has occurred behind closed doors. This is unfortunate since my impression is that many lawyers assume—mistakenly, I think—that new Lord Chancellors are neither willing nor able to defend judicial independence. This post is hopefully third time lucky in correcting this assumption. By drawing on press reports, public statements and interviews that Robert Hazell, Kate Malleson, Patrick O’Brien and I conducted between 2011-2013, I want to piece together evidence that suggests that new Lord Chancellors can and do defend judicial independence.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 18th August 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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School’s out? Peers ask Government to use summer holidays to reflect on controversial judicial review reforms – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted August 1st, 2014 in bills, costs, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘As the House of Lords closes its gilded doors for the long recess, the Westminster village enters its equivalent of the school holidays. Yet, as Ministers pack their red boxes and MPs head diligently back to their constituency business, the House of Lords – debating the Committee Stage of controversial judicial review proposals in Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – may have suggested that officials and Ministers yet have some homework to do.’

Full story

UK Human Rights Blog, 1st August 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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