Michal Hain: Guardians of the Constitution – the Constitutional Implications of a Substantive Rule of Law – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 12th, 2017 in constitutional reform, news, rule of law, statutory interpretation by tracey

‘A constitutional storm is brewing. Whilst it is too early to perform the burial rites for parliamentary sovereignty, the Supreme Court’s decisions in R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51 and R (Evans) v Attorney-General [2015] UKSC 21 are the beginning of the end of the principle’s unrivalled reign. Two especially thorny constitutional issues arose in both cases. One concerns the extent to which statutory interpretation can be used as a tool to resolve conflicts between cherished constitutional values (such as the rule of law) and the explicit wording of a statute. Just as importantly, a distinct question of constitutional interpretation arises with regard to deriving meaning from such values; in other words, how are courts to determine what the “rule of law” in fact demands? What is at stake in this second debate is exemplified by the controversy surrounding the doctrine of substantive due process in the constitutional law of the United States. Whilst it is clear that UNISON and Evans embody a forceful judicial response in the face of inroads on the rule of law, it is less clear what approach courts will take to interpreting constitutional principles in the future.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 12th September 2017

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Jack Simson Caird: The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Constitutional Change and Legal Continuity – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Nine months after Theresa May first announced that there would be a ‘Great Repeal Bill’, and three and a half months after triggering Article 50, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (EUW Bill) was published on 13 July 2017. The Bill is a complex mixture of constitutional change and legal continuity. This post highlights some of its main elements.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 18th July 2017

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Robert Craig: Zombie Prerogatives Should Remain Decently Buried: Replacing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Part 1) – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘In the light of widespread dissatisfaction with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (‘FTPA’), the Conservative party manifesto states, at page 43, “We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act”. This post explores the constitutional implications if, as seems likely, the Conservative Government continues to command a majority in the House of Commons after the election and seeks to convince Parliament to repeal the Act.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th May 2017

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Lionel Cohen Lecture by the Lord Chief Justice: The judiciary within the state – governance and cohesion of the judiciary – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

‘Lionel Cohen Lecture by the Lord Chief Justice: The judiciary within the state – governance and cohesion of the judiciary.’

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Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 22nd May 2017

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Brexit may cost MPs and peers the power to pass laws, says former judge – The Guardian

‘The “legislative tsunami” unleashed by Brexit will deliver the “greatest challenge” in history to the integrity of parliament’s procedures, a former lord chief justice has said. Lord Judge raised his concerns that by the time Brexit is completed and the “great repeal bill” enacted, MPs and peers will have effectively given away their powers to pass laws.’

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The Guardian, 3rd May 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

K M Hayne: The ‘Great Repeal Bill’ – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘In the White Paper published in February this year (“The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union” Cm 9417), the very first point made was that the “Great Repeal Bill” will “remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book and convert the ‘acquis’ – the body of existing EU law – into domestic law”. It was said that “[t]his means that, wherever practical and appropriate, the same rules and laws will apply on the day after [the United Kingdom] leave[s] the EU as they did before”.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 12th April 2017

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Brian Christopher Jones: The Government’s Quandary: “Great”, or Ordinary, Repeal – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 28th, 2017 in bills, constitutional reform, drafting, EC law, legislation, news, repeals, treaties by sally

‘The government would certainly prefer a “great” repeal, but they would be wise to make it an ordinary one. Four years ago I published an analysis piece in Public Law (April 2013) about the need to prevent political language in legislation, and especially in relation to statutory titles. In short, I could find little guidance in a host of official Parliamentary and drafting documents that would curtail overtly political statutory language, and especially in the presentational aspects of bills and statutes, such as short titles. When it came down to it, if a minister desired a particular title for their Bill, they could strong-arm drafters into getting their way—although, there could be pushback from House Authorities, such as the Speaker. The most recent version of Erskine May (2011) notes that short titles must “describe the bill in a straightforwardly factual manner. An argumentative title or slogan is not permitted” (p 526). In reality, however, ministers “may for presentational reasons have strong views about the short title and the structure of the bill”, and attempt to assert their authority (Cabinet Office Guide to Making Legislation, 9.71). Indeed, it is this unique convergence of law and policy that makes the process of drafting so interesting.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th March 2017

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

MPs set to debate changing Britain’s voting system to proportional representation – The Independent

Posted March 16th, 2017 in constitutional reform, elections, news, parliament by tracey

‘MPs are set to debate scrapping Britain’s “First Past the Post” voting system and switching to a form of proportional representation.’

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The Independent, 15th March 2017

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Theresa May warned that Brexit is ‘heading back to the courts’ after she refuses to give MPs a ‘meaningful vote’ – The Independent

Posted March 14th, 2017 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, EC law, news, parliament, treaties by tracey

‘Theresa May has been warned that Brexit is heading back to the courts after she refused to give MPs a “meaningful vote” on any final deal.’

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The Independent, 13th March 2017

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Mark Elliott and Stephen Tierney: The ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and Delegated Powers – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘A good deal of the legal and constitutional interest generated by Brexit has so far, perhaps unsurprisingly, focussed upon the very beginning of the withdrawal process. Initially, all eyes were on the courts, with the Supreme Court holding in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for the European Union [2017] UKSC 5 that the Article 50 mechanism can be activated only with Parliament’s legislative blessing. As a result of that landmark judgment, attention has now switched to Parliament, through which the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is presently passing.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 7th March 2017

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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

Jeff King and Nick Barber: In Defence of Miller – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has stimulated quite a bit of debate. Some criticism of the decision has been well-informed and thoughtful, whilst some of it has been, to put it charitably, less worthy of engagement. In this post we respond to what we view as the strongest arguments against Miller, taking account of the Government’s written case for appeal. We discussed the reasoning used in the case in an earlier post written with Tom Hickman, and will not repeat that explanation here. This post assumes knowledge of that earlier piece, which was written with the lay reader in mind. The present piece, more legally detailed, is necessitated by the quite subtle replies to the argument in that original post and to the judgment in Miller.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd November 2016

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Government loses Article 50 court fight – BBC News

Posted November 3rd, 2016 in appeals, constitutional reform, EC law, news, parliament, referendums, treaties by tracey

‘Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the European Union, the High Court has ruled.’

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BBC News, 3rd November 2016

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Court battle looms over Brexit legality – The Guardian

‘Scores of QCs and lawyers will cram into court four on Thursday, the largest in London’s Royal Courts of Justice, to hear two and a half days of argument that could decide how – or conceivably even whether – the UK leaves the EU.’

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The Guardian, 13th October 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott: The ‘Great Repeal Bill’: Constitutional Chaos and Constitutional Crisis? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On October 2, Theresa May set out plans for a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ to be included in the next Queen’s Speech. There is very little detail currently available, but it appears this Bill is intended to remove the European Communities Act (ECA) 1972 from the statute book following completion of the Brexit negotiations. It would also incorporate current applicable EU law into an Act of Parliament and then allow the government to decide if/when to repeal, amend or retain individual measures in the future, following Brexit.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 10th October 2016

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

What is the Great Repeal Bill? The Brexit law to end all EU laws (that we don’t like) – The Independent

Posted October 4th, 2016 in bills, constitutional reform, EC law, legislation, news, repeals by sally

‘The historic proposal aims to end the European Union’s legal supremacy in the UK by converting all EU requirements into British law as soon as Britain exits the bloc.’

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The Independent, 3rd October 2016

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Government forced to release ‘secret arguments’ for triggering Article 50 ahead of anti-Brexit legal challenge – The Independent

Posted September 29th, 2016 in constitutional reform, disclosure, documents, EC law, news, parliament, referendums by tracey

‘A legal bid challenging Brexit has secured its first major success ahead of a High Court hearing. A senior judge has ordered the Government to reveal ‘secret’ legal arguments which it says means parliament does not have to be consulted on when to trigger Article 50. The decision has been heralded a major victory as a series of legal challenges trying to block Brexit are beginning.’

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The Independent, 28th September 2016

Source: www.independent.co.uk

A democratic defence of the European Court of Human Rights – OUP Blog

Posted September 12th, 2016 in constitutional reform, courts, human rights, news, treaties by sally

‘“Vote leave, take control” was the slogan of almost fiendish simplicity that helped win the Brexit referendum, masking the mendacity and absence of vision that underlay it. The impulses it captures—wresting sovereignty back from remote elites to Westminster, with its proud democratic tradition—echo those that have for years underpinned the opprobrium directed at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in British public debate.’

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OUP Blog, 12th September 2016

Source: www.blog.oup.com

Kenneth Campbell QC: Constitutional Discourse Post-referendum: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going Next? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 1st, 2016 in constitutional reform, EC law, elections, news, parliament, referendums by sally

‘In common with other constitutional and EU law sites, this blog glowed white hot in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum. Understandably, many commentators were occupied with the roles of the UK Parliament and the executive exercise of prerogative powers in the mechanics of the giving of notice in terms of Art 50. Given the nature of these issues, scholarly and practitioner comment has been taken up in wider debate, and Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King’s contribution has perhaps been particularly prominent. As the new political season approaches, this post seeks to assess the state of play about several current and medium term issues.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 1st September 2016

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

MPs reject bill to change Britain’s voting system to proportional representation – The Independent

Posted July 21st, 2016 in bills, constitutional reform, elections, news, parliament by tracey

‘MPs have rejected a bill that would have changed Britain’s voting system to a form of proportional representation.’

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The Independent, 20th July 2016

Source: www.independent.co.uk