Jan van Zyl Smit and Aradhya Sethia: Partial Codification of Administrative Law: What are the Rule of Law Opportunities and Risks of the IRAL’s Remit? Part One – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 21st, 2020 in constitutional law, consultations, news, rule of law by sally

‘The Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL), which is holding a short, seven-week consultation that will close on 26 October 2020, has a remit to consider whether parts of UK administrative law should be codified.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 20th October 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

When it attacks ‘lefty lawyers’, this government takes aim at the rule of law – The Guardian

‘The scorn shown by Boris Johnson and Priti Patel marks a departure from centuries of Conservative tradition.’

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The Guardian, 20th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Statutory Instruments: the Unseen Constitutional Crisis – Blackstone Chambers

Posted October 20th, 2020 in brexit, constitutional law, coronavirus, legislative drafting, news, regulations by sally

‘Why is legislating by Statutory Instrument so tempting for Government?’

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Blackstone Chambers, 14th October 2020

Source: www.blackstonechambers.com

Jeff King and Stephen Tierney: The House of Lords Constitution Committee reports on the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill is something of an imperfect storm, provoking the ire both of the devolved authorities who consider it an unacceptable circumscription of devolved competence and those aghast that the Bill empowers ministers to act contrary to the UK’s international obligations. Today the Constitution Committee reports on the measure and doesn’t pull its punches. Its highly critical analysis is informed by several evidence sessions involving academics, legal experts and prominent parliamentarians including the Lord Chancellor.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 16th October 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

What Has Judicial Review Ever Done For Us? – Each Other

‘It helped thousands of students across the country to have “discriminatory” computer-calculated exam grades scrapped this summer. It enabled health workers on the Covid frontlines to challenge the government over personal protective equipment shortages. It helped Gurkha veterans, who have been part of the British Army for centuries, challenge a policy which denied them settlement in the UK. And it kept a “dangerous” rapist behind bars.’

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Each Other, 16th October 2020

Source: eachother.org.uk

UK needs judges to limit government power, says Lord Kerr – The Guardian

‘The last thing the country needs is a government in which ministers exercise “unbridled power”, the UK’s longest serving supreme court justice has said.’

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The Guardian, 19th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Nicholas Reed Langen: Is the Supreme Court more interventionist? – UK Constitutional Law Association

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

‘The global outpouring of grief upon the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September showed how complete her transfer from justice of the Supreme Court to international icon was. Notorious enough to just be known by her initials, RBG was a judge celebrated in popular culture like no other. Hollywood A-lister Felicity Jones portrayed her in the Hollywood biopic, On the Basis of Sex, the antihero Deadpool considered drafting her for the X-Force, a team of superhero mutants, in Deadpool 2, and even Lego got in on the act, creating a mini-figure of her after the release of The Lego Movie 2.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th October 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Letter from the Chair of the Bar to the Prime Minister – The Bar Council

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The Bar Council, 9th October 2020

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Law Society urges review to protect six fundamental principles of judicial review – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 8th, 2020 in constitutional law, judicial review, Law Society, news, rule of law by tracey

‘The Law Society has set out six fundamental principles of judicial review that it says the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) “must protect”, arguing that judicial review is “a pillar of democracy and a vital check on power”.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 7th October 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Legal profession hits back at Johnson over ‘lefty lawyers’ speech – The Guardian

“Lawyers say government’s hostility risks stirring up hatred and undermining rule of law.’

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The Guardian, 6th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Boris Johnson undermining courts to consolidate power, retired Supreme Court judge warns – The Independent

‘A former Supreme Court judge has accused Boris Johnson of trying to undermine the courts and legal system in a bid to solidify government power and push through his programme. Lord Sumption, who retired from the court in 2018, told at parliamentary select committee that the government was intent on “doing down the courts as potential sources of impediments for the government’s programme”.’

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The Independent, 6th October 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Why Coronavirus Curbs On Our Liberty Need Better Scrutiny – Each Other

‘In recent months there have been growing media reports of anti-lockdown protests, supported by conspiracy theorists, in which demonstrators have made bizarre and outlandish claims. The conspiracies – unsupported by scientific evidence – are often couched in terms of “civil liberties” and “freedoms”.’

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Each Other, 25th September 2020

Source: eachother.org.uk

Were the March 2020 lockdown restrictions lawfully imposed? (Part 1) — Emmet Coldrick – UK Human Rights Blog

‘The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) contained the most draconian restrictions on the liberty of the general population ever imposed in England. They purported to create several new criminal offences (see reg. 9), including an offence of contravening a regulation that “… no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse” (see reg. 6) and an offence of contravening, without reasonable excuse, a regulation that (subject to limited exceptions) “no person may participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two people” (see reg. 7).’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 24th September 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Theodore Konstadinides, Lee Marsons and Maurice Sunkin: Reviewing Judicial Review: The constitutional importance of the Independent Review of Administrative Law 2020 – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 28th, 2020 in constitutional law, judicial review, news, statute law revision by sally

‘Last year, the Government committed itself to establishing a Commission on the Constitution, Democracy and Rights, which would consider reform of the UK’s constitutional order, including judicial review and the Human Rights Act 1998. Instead, on 30 July 2020, the Government launched an ostensibly narrower Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) to examine the need for reforms of judicial review in particular. This is to be conducted by an advisory panel of experts led by Lord Faulks QC. Any options for reform put forward by the Review will be considered by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland QC MP and by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP. Both the report of the Review and the Government’s response will be published by the end of 2020 or shortly thereafter.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Ronan Cormacain: The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill and Breach of Domestic Law – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Huge controversy has already been generated over provisions in the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill granting Ministers the power to disapply the Withdrawal Agreement. Most of the debate (Elliott, Armstrong) has been focused on the potential breaches of international law. This could severely damage the reputation of the United Kingdom in the world. However, what has been relatively overlooked is that this Bill is also a flagrant attack on the Rule of Law at the UK domestic level. This remains the case even if amendments proposed by Sir Bob Neill MP (and apparently accepted by the Government) pass.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 23rd September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Bethany Shiner and Tanzil Chowdhury: The Overseas Operation (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill and Impunity of the British State – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Overseas Operation (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in March 2020 and is due its second reading on 23 September 2020. In short, the Bill aims to limit prosecution and civil proceedings against military personnel, as well as to enable the UK government to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) during combat operations. The Bill emerges in response to what numerous Defence Secretaries have referred to as the “judicialisation of war”, a term which has been used to resist the application of the ECHR to overseas military combat operations. Despite the Bill being described as a way to protect soldiers from the “industry” of “vexatious claims” and preserve the ability of combat forces to fight wars effectively, there is every suggestion that this is really about precluding, or at least severely limiting, the accountability of the British state in its overseas military deployments.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Leah Trueblood: ‘Following the Science:’ a Legal and Democratic Challenge – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘During a pandemic, it seems like a good idea for politicians to “follow the science.” But what does this actually mean? The claim that the Government is “following the science” is in many respects laudable, but is it also a convenient way to avoid or limit accountability? Due to a lack of transparency, it is unclear whether and to what extent substantive decisions are being made by scientists, or if this is just a politically helpful turn of phrase. A recent Institute for Government report Decision Making in a Crisis: First Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic potentially provides some insight into this question. The report says that when deciding whether to lockdown the country in March, the Government looked to science for “answers” for what to do, rather than as part of a range of inputs into a decision-making process. Is the Government delegating decisions for which, under statute, it is exclusively responsible? Possibly. It is necessary to consider how decision-making and accountability mechanisms for decision-makers must be modified to reflect this change in who exercises power in the United Kingdom and how. It is often argued that scientists should be “on tap but not on top.” This post asks if this “on tap not on top” relationship is possible during a pandemic, and to assess the challenges for legal and democratic accountability if it is not.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 21st September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Kenneth Armstrong: Can the UK Breach the Withdrawal Agreement and Get Away With It? – the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Can the UK Breach the Withdrawal Agreement and Get Away With It? – the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 9th September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Rodney Brazier: Why is Her Majesty’s Government so big? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 7th, 2020 in constitutional law, government departments, news by sally

‘Before they entered government, both Dominic Cummings and Dominic Raab called for massive cuts in the size of the British Government. Raab suggested in 2013 that half of all government departments should be scrapped in order to save money; Cummings argued the following year that the Cabinet should consist of only six or seven people. I agree with them – at least to the extent that consideration is long overdue of whether there are too many government departments and too many Ministers.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 7th September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Against the law: why judges are under attack, by the Secret Barrister – The Guardian

‘Branded “enemies of the people” by the media and falsely accused of taking sides in Brexit by Conservative ministers, the judiciary is under threat – as is democracy.’

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The Guardian, 22nd August 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com