Election ‘most disproportionate in history’ say campaigners – BBC News

Posted June 2nd, 2015 in constitutional reform, elections, news, proportionality, reports by sally

‘The 2015 general election was the “most disproportionate in British history”, the Electoral Reform Society has said.’

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BBC News, 1st June 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Queen’s Speech: ‘English votes for English laws’ plan – BBC News

Posted May 27th, 2015 in constitutional reform, devolution, news, parliament by sally

‘Plans to give MPs from English constituencies an effective veto on laws affecting only England are included in the Queen’s Speech.’

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BBC News, 27th May 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Attempt to scrap Human Rights Act will not get past Lords, Falconer warns Gove – The Guardian

‘A new British bill of rights is expected to be included in the Queen’s speech, but shadow lord chancellor says upper house would be within its rights to reject it.’

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The Guardian, 22nd May 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

HRA Watch: Reform, Repeal, Replace? Cormac Mac Amhlaigh: A Referendum on Repeal of the Human Rights Act? Why not? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘So we finally we have some clarity. Of the many statements, quasi-proposals and rumours affecting constitutional reform which had been swirling around during the term of the last coalition government, we now know which will see the light of day as official government policy. With the surprise Conservative majority government, it is now clear that the Human Rights Act will be repealed and replaced with a British Bill of Rights and there will be a referendum on EU membership by 2017 at the latest. Given that many of these issues had already been touted by one part of the coalition, many, if not most, of the constitutional and political implications, and particularly the difficulties, of these proposals have already been thrashed out in different forums such as the recent report co-edited by my colleague Tobias Lock, as well as, of course, on the pages of this blog. I have read and benefited from these excellent insights and so have nothing to add here to the substance of these issues.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th May 2015

Source: http://ukconstitutionallaw.org

The watchdog that would have scrutinised the end of the Human Rights Act just got quietly scrapped – The Independent

Posted May 22nd, 2015 in constitutional reform, EC law, human rights, magna carta, news, parliament by sally

‘The parliamentary committee that scrutinises proposed major constitutional changes been scrapped despite turbulent times ahead of the future of the United Kingdon’s governance.’

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The Independent, 21st May 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Dominic Grieve QC MP – Why It Matters that Conservatives Should Support the European Convention on Human Rights – UCL Constitution Unit

Posted December 11th, 2014 in attorney general, constitutional reform, human rights, news, speeches, treaties by sally

‘A British withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights would be “devastating for Britain and human rights throughout Europe, says Dominic Grieve, sacked as Attorney General by David Cameron in July.’


UCL Constitution Unit, 10th December 2014

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

A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take? – UCL Constitution Unit

Posted December 8th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, news by sally

‘Four of the five main UK political parties have voiced support for a constitutional convention based on popular participation. But what form should such a convention take? There are a variety of possible models and some would work much better than others. This presentation will set out criteria that can be used to evaluate the options and then draw on evidence from recent reform processes – notably in Canada, Iceland, and Ireland – to see which options are more or less likely to meet those criteria in the UK.’

Katie Ghose – A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take?

Dr Alan Renwick- A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take?

UCL Constitution Unit, 12th November 2014

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

The Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament: Relationships and the Rule of Law – Speech by Lord Chief Justice

The Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament: Relationships and the Rule of Law (PDF)

Speech by Lord Chief Justice

Institute for Government, 1st December 2014

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative Powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 is a contentious and oft criticised piece of legislation, although it does have its supporters. The government and the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee have argued it has created a stable environment for longer-term government planning.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

Patrick O’Brien: How active were pre-2009 judges as parliamentarians? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 28th, 2014 in constitutional reform, judges, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘Is the question of anything more than historical interest? The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 precluded judicial peers from contributing to parliamentary debate from 1 October 2009. Many of the Law Lords were opposed to the change, and many judges are at least nostalgic for the past arrangements. The current Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) of England and Wales, Lord Thomas, and his immediate predecessor, Lord Judge, have both publicly regretted the fact that they cannot speak in Parliament on matters of importance to the judiciary. To the extent that the outlook of judges today is shaped partly by the feeling that they have lost a valuable platform, the issue is worth exploring. In fact judges were very infrequent contributors to parliamentary debate. Whilst past Lord Chief Justices – and other judicial peers – may have occasionally used the chamber of the Lords as a platform for articulating judicial viewpoints, all things considered they did so rarely.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th October 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Stop changing laws behind closed doors, say experts – The Independent

Posted October 20th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, devolution, news, referendums by sally

Leading members of the civic society call for the public to be involved in an open discussion on how we should be governed in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum

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The Independent, 19th October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Q&A: How would ‘English votes for English laws’ work? – The Independent

Posted September 23rd, 2014 in constitutional reform, devolution issues, news, parliament by sally

‘Q) What is the concept of English votes for English laws?

A) Basically it’s a smart way of politically packaging the conundrum known as the “West Lothian question” that has been ignored by politicians of all persuasions since it was first posed in the 1970s and Westminster began devolving powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. At its heart is this question: Why should Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs be able to make laws that will not affect the people they represent. For example why should they decide how NHS money is spent when it won’t have any impact on their own constituents?’

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The Independent, 22nd September 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Mark Elliott: Scotland has voted “no”. What next for the UK constitution? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 19th, 2014 in constitutional reform, devolution, news, parliament, referendums, Scotland by tracey

‘After a very long — and at times electrifying — campaign, a modest but decisive majority of those who participated in the referendum on Scottish independence have voted “no”. In one sense, this is the end of the process — even if, bearing in mind the main UK parties’ still-to-be-fulfilled promises about further devolution, it is only the beginning of the end. In another sense, however, it might turn out to be only the end of the beginning.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th September 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

Graham Allen: Kick-starting the debate on a codified constitution for the UK – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted August 14th, 2014 in constitutional reform, consultations, news, select committees by sally

‘Does the United Kingdom need a codified constitution? It’s a question on which generations of law students will have had to write essays, burning the midnight oil and scribbling or tapping away into the night, rehearsing the pros and the cons. But I want it to be something else: the start of a lively and passionate public debate that could result in real change to our country’s democratic set-up.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th August 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

MPs call for anniversary debate on ‘new Magna Carta’ – BBC News

‘The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta next year is the right time for a fresh debate on the pros and cons of a written constitution, MPs have said.’

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BBC News, 10th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Andrew Le Sueur: Imagining judges in a written UK Constitution – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The tide of interest (among those who care about these things) in the idea of a written, codified constitution for the United Kingdom rises and falls. At the moment the tide is quite high, but certainly not high enough to flow into the estuaries of government policy making.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th May 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Graham Gee: The Lord Chief Justice and Section 5 of the Constitutional Reform Act – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted April 14th, 2014 in constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The Constitutional Reform Act redrew relationships between the senior judiciary and Parliament in a number of ways. Amongst the most significant was removing the right of the LCJ to speak in the Lords. Earlier this month, the new LCJ Lord Thomas repeated the lament of his immediate predecessors that it was a mistake to deprive the LCJ of the right to address Parliament on the floor of the House on important matters relating to the administration of justice. In this context, some have read the LCJ’s suggestion of a new approach to s5 of the CRA as significant. Drawing on interviews conducted between 2011-13 as part of an AHRC-funded project on The Politics of Judicial Independence, I want to shed some light on tensions that have arisen about the use of s5.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th April 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Alexander Horne: Is there a case for greater legislative involvement in the judicial appointments process? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 28th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The dramatic increase in public law and human rights cases coming before the UK Supreme Court (and the Appellate Committee before it) means that the UK’s top court is more frequently determining essentially socio-political questions. In addition, in recent years, the judiciary has pressed for a rather more expansive definition of judicial independence, with a greater emphasis on the institutional independence of the judiciary. This has tended to lead to more powerful leadership roles, for senior judges in particular.

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 27th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Scot Peterson: Constitutional Entrenchment in England and the UK – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 25th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, EC law, news, referendums by sally

‘Frequently people think that there are only two ways address flexibility in a constitution: to legally entrench an entire document and to protect it with strong judicial oversight, or to have a political constitution and a sovereign parliament, which, in the words of A.V. Dicey, ‘has … the right to make or unmake any law whatever….’ One aspect of this sovereignty is that parliament cannot bind itself: ‘That Parliaments have more than once intended and endeavoured to pass Acts which should tie the hands of their successors is certain, but the endeavour has always ended in failure.’’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Meg Russell: The Byles/Steel bill – unless amended – holds grave dangers for the Lords – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On Friday 28 February Dan Byles’ Private Member’s Bill on Lords reform completed its Commons passage. It is now in the Lords, and will be sponsored by David Steel. The bill, which allows retirement from the Lords and expulsion of non-attendees and serious criminals, has been presented as a small, uncontroversial “housekeeping” measure. But as already argued in an earlier blog post, as currently drafted it would in fact introduce a very major change that would alter the Lords fundamentally, and in very undesirable ways.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 6th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog