Elizabeth Campion: The Constitutional “Ripple Effect” of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Miller and others v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5 was highly anticipated as perhaps the most signficant constitutional case of this generation, stirring up such strong reactions that the judges of the Divisional Court who initially decided in favour of Ms. Miller were dubbed “Enemies of the People”. Two months after a majority of an 11-member Supreme Court confirmed that prerogative powers could not be used to invoke Article 50, however, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 (hereafter referred to as the “Withdrawal Act”) received Royal Assent, conferring power on the Prime Minister to give the notification required to begin the process of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. The passage of the Withdrawal Act fulfilled the constitutional requirements identified in Miller formally, within the purely political timetable set by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party’s conference and without any additional legal requirements being imposed by way of amendment. This not only sets the stage but also prepares the way for a more permanent sidelining of Parliament as the supreme legislative body in the UK’s constitution as part of the process of leaving the European Union.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 27th March 2017

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Short Cuts – Stephen Sedley – London Review of Books

Posted February 23rd, 2017 in constitutional history, EC law, news, parliament, royal prerogative, treaties by sally

‘When the government decided to appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s ruling that ministers could not lawfully use the royal prerogative to leave the EU, many lawyers, myself included, thought it a hopeless enterprise. A court of three judges – the Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and Lord Justice Sales (who had been standing counsel to the government when at the bar) – had held on cogently reasoned grounds that the prior authority of an Act of Parliament was required. Nevertheless the Supreme Court sat in full, all 11 members, to hear what even the sober Constitution Unit was calling the case of the century. Well, the appeal failed, and by a decisive margin of eight votes to three. But the margin conceals what was jurisprudentially a closer-run thing than the numbers suggest.’

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London Review of Books, 2nd March 2017

Source: www.lrb.co.uk

Miller, BrEXIT and BreUK-up – Counsel

‘The Supreme Court’s treatment of the devolution issues in Miller is troubling, argues Aidan O’Neill QC, who examines the UK’s complex multi-national constitutional history and potential impact on the devolved political constitution.’

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Counsel, March 2017

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Graham John Wheeler: Referendums That Time Forgot – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted February 17th, 2017 in bills, constitutional history, legal history, news, referendums by sally

‘It is well known that the first national referendum in the UK was the 1975 poll on EEC membership. It is also quite well known that A.V. Dicey called for the introduction of the referendum into British politics from the 1880s onwards as a means of defeating Irish home rule. This episode was the subject of an exchange between Dominic Chambers QC and Lord Sumption in the Article 50 case.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 17th February 2017

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Thomas Poole: Losing our Religion? Public Law and Brexit – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Prerogative is the enemy of the people. This has been settled as matter of law for a very long time. The constitutional settlement of 1688 made a decision for responsible and representative government. We have had no constitutional moment of similar magnitude since. All constitutional changes – some very significant – have taken place within that foundational structure. The Bill of Rights treats prerogative as the antithesis of good government. Its primary target is a range of extra-legal powers hitherto asserted by the King, pride of place being given to the power to dispense with laws and the power to suspend Acts of Parliament.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 2nd December 2016

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Speech by Lord Justice Gross: The Judicial Role Today – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted November 24th, 2016 in constitutional history, judges, judiciary, speeches by tracey

‘It is a great pleasure to have been invited to give this year’s Law and Society Lecture. Earlier this year, in another lecture, I addressed the topic of “Judicial Leadership”. My subject on this occasion is the judicial role today, exploring some of its boundaries’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 24th November 2016

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Maastricht 25 years on – What happened to the European dream? – The Independent

Posted November 1st, 2016 in constitutional history, EC law, news, treaties by sally

‘After years of austerity, the utopian vision of a united Europe appears to be in tatters. On the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht treaty, Youssef El-Gingihy delves into the impact of an agreement that designed the architecture of the EU.’

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The Independent, 1st November 2016

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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

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

Magna Carta: explore the document in full – The Guardian

Posted June 16th, 2015 in constitutional history, documents, magna carta, news by sally

‘Find out for yourself what Magna Carta says by consulting the original document, with English translation, Latin transcription, and expert commentary from the AHRC’s Magna Carta Project.’

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The Guardian, 15th June 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Magna Carta: The troubled journey to an independent judiciary – The Independent

‘In popular perception the Middle Ages was a time of lawlessness and cruelty. And to a degree, that characterisation holds true. Crusades abroad, ill-disciplined governance at home, England in the early thirteenth century was not exactly enlightened.’

Full story

The Independent, 7th June 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Human Rights through the ages: Magna Carta and 7 key moments since 1215 – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted April 22nd, 2015 in constitutional history, human rights, legal history, magna carta, news by sally

‘2015 is the 800th anniversary of English law’s most momentous landmark – the signing of Magna Carta. For the first time, the king’s absolute rule was limited and the first step taken towards civil liberties and individual rights for all.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 21st April 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

“High-minded tosh” – the current brouhaha about the Magna Carta – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted March 17th, 2015 in constitutional history, legal history, magna carta, news, speeches by sally

‘Let’s apply some hard history to the 13th century charter governing the obligations flowing between King John and his barons, or at least read the thing. So says Lord Sumption in a fascinating address to Friends of the British Library on 9 March.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th March 2015

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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

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

Whose Magna Carta is it anyway? – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Yesterday was Magna Carta Day. It is now only 364 days until the 800th anniversary of the sealing of England’s oldest charter of rights, and one of the world’s most influential legal documents.’

Full story

UK Human Rights Blog,

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

The disunited kingdom: England, Ireland and Scotland – CrimeLine

Posted November 7th, 2013 in constitutional history, devolution, Ireland, news, Scotland, speeches by tracey

“A Lecture to the Denning Society, at Lincoln’s Inn by Lord Sumption on 5 November 2013.”

Full lecture

CrimeLine, 6th November 2013

Source: www.crimeline.info

One million Commonwealth citizens ‘should lose the right to vote in UK’ – The Independent

Posted August 29th, 2013 in citizenship, constitutional history, elections, news, reports by sally

“Around one million Commonwealth citizens will be allowed to vote in the next general election despite not having qualified for British citizenship, in a practice that “should be brought to an end immediately”, a report has argued.”

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The Independent, 28th August 2013

Source: www.independent.co.uk

European court of human rights is not perfect, but it’s still precious – The Guardian

Posted April 19th, 2012 in constitutional history, courts, human rights, news by tracey

“When imagined post-Nuremberg, the human rights convention and Strasbourg court was never supposed to be a substitute for national protection of human rights.”

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The Guardian, 19th April 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Jonathan Sumption shows a certain naivety – The Guardian

“The supreme court’s newest recruit worries that judges are making policy. But parliament always has the last word.”

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The Guardian, 9th November 2011

Source: www.guardian.co.uk