Steven Chaplin: Review of Parliaments and the Pandemic – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘As the pandemic moves into its second year, the effects on Parliaments, not only as legislating and accountability bodies but as institutions, are becoming more apparent. What began as a series of emergency measures imposed by government, generally supported by all parties, has given way to longer term concerns regarding government accountability and the sidelining of Parliament, along with some consideration and re-imagining of post-pandemic Parliaments.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 8th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Daniella Lock, Fiona de Londras and Pablo Grez Hidalgo: Parliamentary Engagement with Human Rights under COVID-19 and the Independent Human Rights Act Review – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘As the deadline for submissions to Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR) passes this week, the appropriate division of constitutional labour in respect of human rights protection continues to attract debate. The terms of reference for the IHRAR suggests a focus on the role of the courts in protecting rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). In particular, it asks whether the roles of the courts, Parliament and the Government are appropriately “balanced” in this respect. In our submission to the IHRAR we have highlighted that, in line with the structure and principles of the UK constitution, the HRA is designed to give Parliament a leading role in human rights protection. In spite of this, however, we have further noted that Parliament too often fails to undertake appropriate rights-related deliberation, scrutiny and engagement of legislative and policy action.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 3rd March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

James Bevan: ‘10-year prison sentences for breaching COVID-19 entry requirements into the United Kingdom’? Governmental Decree is undermining the Rule of Law – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, announced in Parliament on Tuesday 9th February that those returning from ‘red list’ countries who fail to disclose that fact could receive a 10-year prison sentence following conviction (see The Telegraph).’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th February 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Does judicial review of delegated legislation under the Human Rights Act 1998 unduly interfere with executive law-making?- UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The relationship between delegated legislation and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) is seemingly becoming a more contentious constitutional issue. Professor Richard Ekins published, as part of the Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, an agenda for constitutional reform under the title of Protecting the Constitution. Amongst an extensive set of reform suggestions, Ekins proposes that the relationship between human rights, the courts, and delegated legislation ought to be recast.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd February 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Ronan Cormacain: Queen’s Consent and the Crown’s exemption from lockdown rules – are we all in this together? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘There have been recent revelations about the use of the Queen’s consent procedure in relation to Government Bills. At the heart of the issue is the role of the Queen and the Prince of Wales, in vetting Acts of Parliament before they are made. With that background, this paper examines the applicability of some of the coronavirus lockdown rules to Crown land. My conclusion is that the Crown has special and unjustified privileges in the both the content of legislation and the procedure for making it.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 15th February 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

How the Queen lobbied for changes in the law to hide her wealth – The Guardian

Posted February 10th, 2021 in bills, constitutional law, news, parliament, podcasts, royal family by sally

‘Government memos discovered in the National Archives reveal that the Queen lobbied ministers to alter proposed legislation. The Guardian’s David Pegg follows the trail and explains its implications for a monarchy which is supposed to stay out of politics.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 10th February 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Davor Jancic: The UK-EU Trade Deal: Five Important Implications for the UK Parliament – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted January 22nd, 2021 in bills, brexit, constitutional law, EC law, news, parliament by sally

‘The announcement of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on Christmas Eve 2020 may have come as a surprise given endless media reports about the negotiators’ intransigence and the imminent threat of a cliff edge. Add to this the Covid-19 pandemic and some ten months and just nine formal rounds of negotiations make it remarkable that any deal has been reached, let alone one that spans 1246 pages. To put this in context, only a fortnight before the deal was reached, Australia concluded its own 9th formal round of negotiations with the EU; however, this was after over two and half years of negotiations, which will continue for the foreseeable future. And while the resounding parliamentary vote in favour of implementing the TCA (521 votes in favour and 73 against) is good for the political legitimacy of the deal, the swiftness of the vote is less good in terms of democratic process and participation.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 20th January 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Ronan Cormacain: Protecting Veterans or Protecting the Ministry of Defence? Clarity in the Overseas Operations Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Legislation needs to be clear so that citizens can understand it and parliamentarians know what they are voting for. The need for clarity in legislation is set out as the first principle of Bingham’s definition of the Rule of Law, and the need for intelligibility in legislation is a requirement of the Venice Commission Checklist on the Rule of Law. This is one of the rationales for a parliamentary democracy. The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill is designed to offer legal protections to UK armed forces, and the Ministry of Defence, in relation to overseas military operations. The Bill’s Second Reading took place this week in the House of Lords. But the Bill is disingenuous: in form it is about protecting veterans, whilst in substance it is about protecting the Ministry of Defence.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd January 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Carwyn Jones: Is Dicey dicey? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted January 18th, 2021 in constitutional law, devolution, news, parliament, rule of law, Supreme Court by sally

‘For nearly a hundred and fifty years, parliamentary sovereignty or supremacy (the terms are used interchangeably) has been taken as immutable and unchanging by the UK Parliament and the courts. As devolution has developed, the concept deserves greater examination to see whether the concept is as sound as it has been supposed.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 18th January 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Kenneth Armstrong: Governing With or Without Consent – The United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The United Kingdom Internal Market Act has become law, receiving Royal Assent shortly before MPs and Lords departed the Palace of Westminster for the holidays. The controversial provisions in Part 5 conflicting with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol – previously discussed by me here – have been removed following the outcome of a meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee that resolved – at least for the moment – outstanding issues in the practical implementation of the Protocol.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 18th December 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Timetable set out for judicial review and Human Rights Act reform – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted December 10th, 2020 in bills, constitutional law, human rights, judicial review, juries, news, parliament by tracey

‘The Lord Chancellor has revealed the potential timetable for unveiling anticipated judicial review and human rights reforms.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 9th December 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Ex-judge Sir Peter Gross to head human rights law review – BBC News

‘Former Court of Appeal judge Sir Peter Gross has been appointed to lead an independent review of the Human Rights Act.’

Full Story

BBC News, 7th December 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Trump’s challenges to the US election: What would happen here? – 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

‘In light of the recent challenges to the US presidential election, Richard Price OBE QC and Vivienne Sedgley draw comparison with the means of challenging elections in England.’

Full Story

4-5 Gray's Inn Square, 2nd December 2020

Source: www.4-5.co.uk

Alison L Young: The Draft Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill: Turning Back the Clock? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Things were different in 2010. If schools closed and households found themselves stuck indoors, or unable to travel abroad, it was due to snowstorms and erupting Icelandic volcanoes, not because of a pandemic. Moreover, if the then Prime Minister wished to dissolve Parliament, he did not need to adhere to the requirements of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, which fixed parliamentary terms to five years, allowing for early parliamentary general elections either following a vote of two-thirds of the House of Commons in favour of an early parliamentary general election, or following a vote of no confidence. Instead, so the draft Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill would have us believe, the Prime Minister could dissolve Parliament and instigate a new general election by use of a prerogative power, at a date of his choosing unchecked by the courts, subject only to ensuring Parliament did not exceed its maximum term of five years.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 4th December 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Nicholas Reed Langen: Reforming the Supreme Court – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted December 3rd, 2020 in constitutional law, diversity, judiciary, news, Supreme Court by tracey

‘Fresh from inaugurating its Independent Review of Administrative Law, this government is still not finished with the judiciary, at least according to recent policy proposals leaked to the Sunday Telegraph. Downing Street has also turned its eye onto the Supreme Court and its structure and composition.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 1st December 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

The government and the judges – Counsel

Posted November 19th, 2020 in constitutional law, judiciary, news, parliament, Supreme Court by sally

‘Zealots bent on upsetting the constitutional applecart or the only friends we have? And what is the alternative? Thomas Grant QC takes a look at the Independent Review of Administrative Law, its context and the charges against the senior judiciary.’

Full Story

Counsel, November 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Was Lockdown Lawful? Thoughts of a former Supreme Court Judge. – 33 Bedford Row

‘Lord Sumption has this evening [27 October] in his lecture entitled “Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution” issued a scathing indictment not only of the political motivations and processes behind lockdown measures, but also the underlying legality of the measures, and their impact upon the long term health of our parliamentary democracy.’

Full Story

33 Bedford Row, 27th October 2020

Source: www.33bedfordrow.co.uk

Ep 129: Brexit and the Flaws of Delegated Legislation – Law Pod UK

Posted November 9th, 2020 in brexit, constitutional law, news, parliament, podcasts by sally

‘In Episode 129, Emma-Louise Fenelon speaks to Lord Anderson of Ipswich QC, Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson about the new Public Law Project report: Plus ca change? Brexit and the flaws of the delegated legislation system, for a fascinating discussion about parliamentary goings-on in a time of Brexit.’

Full Story

Law Pod UK, 4th November 2020

Source: audioboom.com

JR vital to constitutional balance of powers – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted October 26th, 2020 in constitutional law, judicial review, Law Society, news by sally

‘Anyone who is affected by the decisions of public bodies must be able to raise a challenge in the courts, the Law Society said today as it proposed reforms to the judicial review process.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 26th October 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Keith Bush and Huw Pritchard: Implications of the Independent Review of Administrative Law for Devolved Government in Wales – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The devolution of legislative and executive powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has now been a feature of the UK constitution for over 20 years. The three devolution settlements establish patterns of governance for the devolved territories which involve a delicate balance between the proper spheres of activity of devolved and UK institutions. Any major reform affecting the powers of one level of government inevitably impacts on the other. As the history of the implementation of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU has demonstrated, failure to consider, from the outset, the impact on devolved government of proposed measures, on the misconceived grounds that those measures only strictly relate to matters reserved to the UK level of government, inevitably leads to unpredicted consequences, legislative complexity and an enhanced level of political controversy.’

Full Story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd October 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org