Leah Trueblood: The Merits and Meaning of a ‘Second’ Referendum – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted February 5th, 2018 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, news, referendums, treaties by sally

‘Even before the vote on 23 June 2016, questions were raised about the possibility of a ‘second’ referendum. I place the term ‘second’ in inverted commas because the idea that another vote means another referendum reflects a misunderstanding both about (i) what a referendum is and (ii) the role of referendums in the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements. On the ‘second’ referendum view, a referendum is synonymous with a vote. This is not the case. I will argue in this post that a referendum is a multi-stage process of referring a question to voters. This does include one vote, but may well include multiple votes. I will also argue that the conflation of referendums with votes underlies many of the flaws of the Brexit referendum in particular and the use of referendums in the United Kingdom in general. This is not a political argument for or against Brexit. It is a constitutional argument about what the role can and should be for voting in the process of constitutional reform through referendums in the United Kingdom.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 5th February 2018

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Four Reasons for Retaining the Charter: Part 2 – Remedies – Oxford Human Rights Hub

‘The previous blog post drew attention to the way in which the scope of rights protected in the UK may be diminished post Brexit if the Charter is not retained as part of domestic law. The second reason for retaining the Charter draws attention to the remedy provided when rights are breached. Individuals relying on the Charter at the moment can use the Charter to disapply legislation which breaches Charter rights. This is a legally binding remedy which invalidates the relevant legislation. This is not the case for those relying on common law rights, or their Convention rights under the Human Rights Act.’

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Oxford Human Rights Hub, 4th February 2018

Source: ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk

Four Reasons for Retaining the Charter Post Brexit: Part 1 – A Broader Protection of Rights – Oxford Human Rights Hub

Posted February 5th, 2018 in constitutional reform, EC law, human rights, news, treaties by sally

‘This series of short blog posts will argue that there are four main reasons for allowing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to continue to have domestic effect in UK law. First, it provides a broader scope of rights than either the ECHR or the common law. Second, it provides a better remedy for a breach of rights. Third, to retain the Charter provides greater clarity as to the extent to which human rights are protected in the UK. Fourth, the Charter provides for a protection of rights that has more democratic credentials than either the common (judge-made) law, or the ECHR. The final blog post will explain why the Government’s main argument against retention of the Charter – that it only applies within the scope of EU law – does not provide a justification for removing the Charter from domestic law.’

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Oxford Human Rights Hub, 2nd February 2018

Source: ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk

Sovereignty or Supremacy? Lords Constitution Committee Reports on EU (Withdrawal) Bill — Mark Elliott and Stephen Tierney – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted January 30th, 2018 in bills, constitutional reform, EC law, news, reports, select committees, treaties by sally

‘The House of Lords Constitution Committee today issues its main report on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. This follows the preliminary and interim reports on the Bill that the Committee published last year. The new report is wide-ranging and hard-hitting, the Committee’s view being that the Bill ‘risks fundamentally undermining legal certainty’.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 29th January 2018

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Brexit: EU (Withdrawal Bill) fundamentally flawed, say peers – BBC News

Posted January 29th, 2018 in bills, constitutional reform, EC law, news, select committees, treaties by sally

‘Proposed legislation bringing existing EU law into UK law is “fundamentally flawed” and needs to be reworked, a Lords committee has said.’

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BBC News, 29th January 2018

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Law Pod UK Ep. 21: Outlining the Legal Milestones to Brexit – 1 COR

Posted January 22nd, 2018 in constitutional reform, EC law, news, treaties by sally

‘In December 2017, the principles of Britain’s divorce from the European Union were agreed, and we now move to what Theresa May has called the “implementation phase”. But, as Professor Catherine Barnard of Cambridge University tells Bonnie Soames, it should really be termed “the transition”.’

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Law Pod UK, 17th January 2018

Source: audioboom.com

Miscarriages of justice – OUP Blog

Posted January 22nd, 2018 in appeals, constitutional reform, courts, miscarriage of justice, news by sally

‘Today we take it for granted that anyone convicted of a crime should be able to appeal to a higher court. However, this wasn’t always so. English lawyers traditionally set great store in the deterrent value of swift and final justice. Over the course of the nineteenth century, reformers pressed for the establishment of a court that could review sentencing and order retrials on points of law or new evidence. These advocates of change met with fierce resistance from the judiciary and much of the legal profession, and the cause of reform had little success until a spectacular miscarriage of justice came to light.’

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OUP Blog, 21st January 2018

Source: blog.oup.com

The EU Withdrawal Bill and Judicial Review: Are we ready? – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted January 16th, 2018 in bills, constitutional reform, EC law, human rights, judicial review, news by sally

‘A battle cry of the Brexiteers during the referendum campaign was a rousing appeal to restore the supremacy of Parliament: to free our great nation from its subservience to EU law. There is therefore a dispiriting irony that the process of withdrawal that is proposed in the EU Withdrawal Bill will lead to a hollowing out of the authority of Parliament[1]. On an unprecedented scale, it is proposed that Parliament will divest itself of powers in its traditional sphere of authority – that of legislating pursuant to the mandate granted by the electorate – and transfer such powers to the Executive. At the same time, there will be a sapping of Parliamentary power to the Judiciary, who will be required to adjudicate on issues of policy that would be expected to have been determined by the sovereign Parliament, unless some clear interpretative guidance is provided in the approach to be adopted to policy issues that will inevitably arise.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 15th January 2018

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Armin Cuyvers: Two Legal Tools to Avoid Hard Brexit: Delayed Exit and Decreasing Membership under Article 50 TEU – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted November 28th, 2017 in constitutional reform, delay, EC law, news, treaties by sally

‘Faced with a cliff, jumping is generally considered one of the least pleasant solutions. Yet we are racing towards the edge of the Brexit cliff. Miracles excluded, the UK and EU will not be able to finalize the necessary Brexit agreements in time. Effectively, there is less than a year left, and we have not even moved beyond the Brexit bill. As an extension of the two-year term seems politically impossible in the UK, we seem left with one unlikely and one disastrous possible outcome.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th November 2017

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Ministers urged to ditch plans to cut number of MPs by 50 – The Guardian

Posted October 17th, 2017 in boundaries, constitutional reform, consultations, elections, news, parliament by tracey

‘Government does not have parliamentary support for revised boundary changes, which would boost Tory election win chances, say Labour and Lib Dems.’

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The Guardian, 17th October 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Extinct? The Lawyer Lord Chancellor – Counsel

Posted October 12th, 2017 in constitutional reform, legal profession, lord chancellor, news by sally

‘Joshua Rozenberg QC reflects on whether we’ve seen the last of the legally qualified Lord Chancellors.’

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Counsel, October 2017

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Cormac Mac Amhlaigh: Can Brexit Be Stopped under EU Law? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Ominous clouds are gathering and the terrain underfoot increasingly resembles a quagmire on the Brexiteers’ ‘sunlit uplands’. The latest reminders that the reality will be significantly different from their utopia of a prosperous global Buccaneering Britain has come in the form of a trade dispute between the U.S. and a Canadian aircraft manufacturer which could have a devastating impact on the Northern-Irish economy where the manufacturer has a significant base; and the threat from a gang of countries that they will not accept a proposed agreement (one of the few agreements for now) between the EU and UK as to the divvying up of agricultural import quotas after Brexit. Perhaps most galling on this front is the fact that the gang involves those with whom it was hoped trade deals would be swiftly struck; including the U.S. and New Zealand.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 10th October 2017

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

The case of the missing mandate – New Law Journal

Posted October 3rd, 2017 in constitutional reform, EC law, news, referendums, treaties by sally

‘David Wolchover contends that there is no mandate for the UK to be taken out of the EU & considers how the European Parliament may force a further referendum.’

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New Law Journal, 8th September 2017

Source: www.newlawjournal.co.uk

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