Mike Gordon: Ministerial Responsibility After Huhne – UK Constitutional Law Group

“Does the Chris Huhne affair have constitutional implications? In one sense, the answer to this question might be a rather obvious one. From a constitutional perspective – although certainly not from a political perspective – the case seems relatively uncontroversial.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 25th March 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Whistleblowing, forgotten children and the legal future of Wales –

Posted February 20th, 2013 in children, constitutional law, news, Wales, whistleblowers by sally

“Joining us this week is Theo Huckle QC, the chief legal officer of Wales who – controversially – says it’s ‘inevitable’ that Wales will become a separate legal jurisdiction. Are centuries of legal union with England really coming to an end?”


BBC Law in Action, 19th February 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Sir Leigh Lewis KCB – Prospects for a British Bill of Rights – UCL Constitution Unit

Posted January 28th, 2013 in constitutional law, human rights, news by sally

“The Commission on a Bill of Rights was established in March 2011 and mandated to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights which draws upon current ECHR obligations. On 18 December 2012, the Commission published its report. Seven of the nine committee members advocated the creation of a UK Bill of Rights, while the two dissenting members have voiced concerns that a Bill could be used as a means of decoupling the UK from the ECHR. The Commission’s Chair, Sir Leigh Lewis KCB, will discuss the report’s findings and likely impact.”


UCL Constitution Unit, 26th January 2013

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

Secret papers show extent of senior royals’ veto over bills – The Guardian

“The extent of the Queen and Prince Charles’s secretive power of veto over new laws has been exposed after Downing Street lost its battle to keep information about its application secret.”

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The Guardian, 14th January 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

What lies beneath the Commission on a Bill of Rights report – UK Human Rights report

Posted December 21st, 2012 in constitutional law, devolution, human rights, news, reports by tracey

“Don’t be fooled! We have been led to believe there was a two-way split on the government-appointed Bill of Rights Commission, which published its report on Tuesday, but the split was at least three-way. The Commissioners tell us that ‘it [was] not always easy to disentangle in the opinions expressed to [them] what are tactical positions rather than fundamental beliefs’. The same must surely be said of the report’s seven ‘majority’ authors.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 20th December 2012

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Baroness D’Souza – The Role of the House of Lords in the Parliamentary Process – UCL Constitution Unit

Posted December 17th, 2012 in constitutional law, news, parliament by sally

“Looking above and beyond current debates about the House of Lords’ composition, Baroness D’Souza will discuss the Lords in terms of its place in the parliamentary process. Having now been in post for over a year, Baroness D’Souza will present her vision for the Lords’ future, its contribution to the political system, changes to its working practices and the role of the Lord Speaker. She will also cover public perceptions of the Upper House and the importance of outreach.”


UCL Constitution Unit, 14th December 2012

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

Supreme court becomes a constitutional animal – The Guardian

Posted November 28th, 2012 in byelaws, constitutional law, news, Supreme Court, Wales by sally

“A recent case concerning Welsh byelaws saw the UK’s highest court acting as a constitutional court.”

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The Guardian, 28th November 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Do Human Rights Make Bad Citizens? – Lord Justice Laws

Posted November 12th, 2012 in citizenship, constitutional law, human rights, news, proportionality by sally

Do Human Rights Make Bad Citizens? (PDF)

Lord Justice Laws

Northumbria University, Inaugural Lecture 2012

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Regina (ToTel Ltd) v First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and another – WLR Daily

Regina (ToTel Ltd) v First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and another [2012] EWCA Civ 1401; [2012] WLR (D) 303

“A taxpayer was entitled to appeal from the First-tier Tribunal to the Upper Tribunal against a decision that it would not suffer hardship if required to pay assessed value added tax before an appeal against the assessment could be heard. The right of appeal against hardship decisions had not been abolished by section 84(3C) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 as the insertion of section 84(3C) by paragraph 221(5) of Schedule 1 to the Transfer of Tribunal Functions and Revenue and Customs Appeals Order 2009 was ultra vires section 124 of the Finance Act 2008.”

WLR Daily, 31st October 2012

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

No removal of right of appeal without clear and express wording – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted November 2nd, 2012 in amendments, appeals, constitutional law, judicial review, news, taxation, tribunals, VAT by sally

“Tax litigation is not the most obvious hunting ground for human rights points but if claimants feel sufficiently pinched by what they perceive as unfair rules, there is nothing to stop them appealing to the courts’ scrutiny of the lawfulness of those rules.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 1st November 2012

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Prisoner votes: Strasbourg should give way to national independence – The Guardian

Posted October 30th, 2012 in constitutional law, courts, elections, human rights, news, parliament, prisons by sally

“The constitutional crisis predicted for years by Professor Vernon Bogdanor is upon us. He warned that the human rights reforms of the 1990s created a potential conflict between the sovereignty of parliament and the rule of law. ‘What happens if there is a clash between the two principles?’ he asked in his Magna Carta lecture of 2006. A very senior judge to whom he had posed the conundrum had replied ‘That is a question that ought not to be asked.'”

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The Guardian, 29th October 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Prince Charles and the curious case of the Black Spider Letters – UK Human Rights Blog

“Litigation relating to information rights can sometimes seem very dry and obscure, entailing lengthy analysis of the merits of public authorities disclosing or withholding information which is highly specialised or obtuse, and of little real interest to the general population. But this case – the case of the ‘Black Spider Letters’ – really is a fascinating one, involving an examination not just of the legislative provisions relating to the disclosure of information, but also a consideration of the existence and extent of constitutional conventions pertaining to the role of the monarchy in government. At the same time, it has the potential to generate such controversy as to make for perfect tabloid fodder. It has been the subject of international news coverage. And it’s not over yet.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 23rd October

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

The Supreme Court in the UK Constitution – Speech by Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond

Posted October 18th, 2012 in constitutional law, speeches, Supreme Court by sally

The Supreme Court in the UK Constitution (PDF)

Speech by Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond

Legal Wales 2012

Source: www.supremecourt.gov.uk

Jamaica’s London appeal court dilemma – BBC News

Posted August 3rd, 2012 in appeals, constitutional law, Jamaica, news, Privy Council by tracey

“Jamaica is celebrating the 50th anniversary of independence from Britain next week. The government in Kingston is talking about becoming a republic and is also looking at ending a legal legacy of the British Empire.”

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BBC News, 3rd August 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Warnings over abduction treaty – BBC News

“An international treaty designed to ensure the swift return of children abducted abroad by a parent needs to be implemented faster, researchers say.”

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BBC News, 22nd July 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

The Good Constitution: Sir David Williams Lecture – Speech by Lord Justice Laws

Posted May 18th, 2012 in constitutional law, human rights, judicial review, speeches by sally

The Good Constitution (PDF)

Speech by Lord Justice Laws

Sir David Williams Lecture, 4th May 2012

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Law, politics, and the draft Brighton Declaration – UK Human Rights Blog

“Although not a ‘supreme law bill of rights’, the Human Rights Act 1998 is a significant constraint upon the political-legislative process. In this post, I argue that the extent of that constraint would likely diminish were the draft Brighton Declaration implemented in its present form.”

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UK  Human Rights Blog, 9th March 2012

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

The democratic legitimacy of human rights – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted February 29th, 2012 in constitutional law, human rights, judiciary, news by tracey

“Why should we bother with the European Convention on Human Rights? Many of those that would never contemplate leaving the ECHR still question whether we should abide by controversial decisions such as those on prisoners’ voting rights or deportation. UCL’s Professor Richard Bellamy attempted to answer this question at the Statute Law Society’s talk on Monday evening. He said that the UK should abide by the ECHR, which gains its legitimacy by being the best way for democratic states regulate their relationships and protect their citizens’ rights.”

Full story

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Legal aid cuts undermine constitutional right to access to justice, peers warn – The Guardian

Posted November 18th, 2011 in budgets, constitutional law, legal aid, news by tracey

“Government proposals to slice £350m out the annual legal aid budget undermine the constitutional principle that citizens must have access to justice, a senior House of Lords committee has warned. Issued by the constitution select committee, which includes prominent crossbench and Conservative peers, the report is a significant challenge to the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill days before its second reading in the upper house.”

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The Guardian, 17th November 2011

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