Robert Greally: The Brown Report: Political Legitimacy and the Power of the Assembly – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Brown Commission has recommended replacing the House of Lords with an elected Assembly of the Nations and Regions of the UK. In recent posts, the Commission’s proposals for legally empowering the Assembly to scrutinise bills and to protect the constitution have come under criticism on several grounds. First, there are concerns that the Assembly would be unable effectively to scrutinise ordinary bills, as unlike the Lords, the Assembly would lack the legal power to delay such bills. Second, the Assembly would be vested with the power to veto bills which amend existing constitutional arrangements. Yet the Commission not only fails to provide a definitive list of existing constitutional statutes that could be protected by the veto but also envisaged that in exceptional circumstances the House of Commons may still assert its primacy through a specific but currently undetermined processes. Thus, it has been argued the proposed position is not drastically different from the existing legislative process established by the Parliament Acts. Third, there is an implicit concern that the Assembly’s elected membership may hinder rather than facilitate the Assembly in scrutinising and protecting the constitution.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 26th January 2023

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Tarun Khaitan: An Elected Second Chamber? Some Thoughts on the Brown Report – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted January 26th, 2023 in constitutional reform, elections, news, parliament, reports by sally

‘One of the key recommendations of the Brown Commission is to replace the House of Lords with an elected second chamber called the Assembly of the Nations and Regions. The proposal has stimulated a broad debate. A key intervention in the debate was by the Speaker of the Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, who has argued against replacing the House of Lords with a second elected chamber because—he claims—doing so would threaten the supremacy of the Commons. In this post, I will draw upon my paper in defence of “moderated parliamentarism” to argue that—if done right—this might be a welcome reform that could combine the benefits of creating a system that checks executive power better, but without being prone to US-style legislative deadlocks and governmental dysfunction. I will argue that a properly designed elected second chamber could make the quality of British democracy better, especially by doing a better job of holding the executive to account and improving the quality of legislation. To the extent that the details for this reform in the Brown Report are sketchy and not exactly thought through, the objective of this blogpost is to provide a relatively more detailed proposal—if only to explain what is at stake and what kinds of questions need to be discussed and answered.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th January 2023

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Sudden unexplained death in childhood debated in Parliament – BBC News

Posted January 18th, 2023 in bereavement, children, families, news, parliament by tracey

‘The issue of children dying unexpectedly and without any known cause has been debated in Parliament for the first time.’

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BBC News, 17th January 2023

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Adam Tucker: Entrenchment, Parliamentary Sovereignty, and the Limited Radicalism of the Brown Report – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The publication of the Report of the Commission on the UK’s Future is attracting widespread attention. The centrepiece of its constitutional content is the replacement of the House of Lords with a new second chamber with new composition and a reformed role, which would have particular responsibility for territorial aspects of the constitution (discussed here) and act as guardian of (newly) entrenched elements of the constitution –not just in the devolution context but also more widely.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 15th December 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Research Briefing: Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – House of Commons Library

Posted December 2nd, 2022 in animal cruelty, animals, bills, news, parliament by tracey

‘This briefing provides an overview of the proposed measures in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, along with background on the issues it aims to address.’

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House of Commons Library , 29th November 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Research Briefing: Mobile (park) homes – House of Commons Library

Posted December 2nd, 2022 in government departments, housing, news, parliament by tracey

‘This paper provides an overview of the rights of residents who live year-round on mobile (park) home sites and proposals to improve protections for residents in England.’

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House of Commons Library , 1st December 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Chris Himsworth: Referendum Bill Consequentials – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘At paras 56-57 of their judgment, the court in Reference by the Lord Advocate of devolution issues ([2022] UKSC 31) declared: “The central issue is whether legislation for a referendum on Scottish independence would relate to a reserved matter…. The critical question is accordingly whether the proposed Bill would relate to the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England or the Parliament of the United Kingdom”.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 29th November 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Christian Magaard: Reconciling the Proactive Principle of Legality with Parliamentary Sovereignty – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted November 18th, 2022 in bills, constitutional law, human rights, news, parliament by tracey

‘Rising like an arguably rather dark phoenix from the ashes, the Bill of Rights Bill now appears back on the legislative agenda. Yet again, the repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) seems somewhat inevitable, unless cabinet will once again implode in turmoil. In this light, the potential of the common law to provide a system of rights protection of similar vigour to that of the HRA has rightly gained much attention. The previous debate has largely focused on the content and development of common law rights and the structural potentials of the common law constitution. In contrast, this post will shed some light on what Mark Elliott described as the rigour of rights protection. The repeal of s. 3 HRA is surely one of the major cuts of judicial competences that the Bill of Rights Bill aims to undertake. Reinforcing a suggestion made by Eirik Bjorge and Michael Foran, it will hence be argued that the judiciary may well fill this protection gap by applying the proactive principle of legality (PoL). The use of this principle, however, can only be justified by acknowledging a new doctrinal foundation that reconciles it with parliamentary sovereignty.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 17th November 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Research Briefing: Voter ID – House of Commons Library

Posted November 17th, 2022 in elections, fraud, identification, identity cards, news, parliament by tracey

‘The Elections Act 2022 will introduce the requirement to show photo ID at UK Parliamentary elections, police and crime commissioner elections and at local elections in England. This briefing looks at the background to voter ID in the UK.’

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House of Commons Library , 14th November 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Research Briefing: The Supported Housing (Regulated Oversight) Bill 2022-23 – House of Commons Library

Posted November 17th, 2022 in benefits, bills, housing, landlord & tenant, local government, news, parliament by tracey

‘Bob Blackman’s Private Members Bill will receive its second reading on 18 November 2022. This paper explains how the bill aims to strengthen regulation of supported exempt housing in England.’

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House of Commons Library , 15th November 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Supreme Court to rule on indyref2 powers next week – BBC News

Posted November 16th, 2022 in devolution issues, news, parliament, referendums, Scotland, Supreme Court by sally

‘The Supreme Court will deliver its judgement next Wednesday on whether the Scottish Parliament can hold a second independence referendum without Westminster’s approval.’

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BBC News, 16th November 2022

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Michael Foran: Prime Ministers, Party Members, and the Efficient Secret – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The office of Prime Minister is a creature entirely of constitutional convention. While legislation references the office itself, setting out pay for example, this is only statutory recognition of the existence of an office which arises purely by virtue of convention. It is by convention that the Monarch appoints as Prime Minister someone who is capable of commanding the confidence of the House of Commons and it is by convention that he exercises certain prerogative powers only on the advice of the Prime Minister (or another minister in his government). The mechanism for choosing a Prime Minister is, however, not entirely covered by convention. While they must command the confidence of a majority of MPs in the Commons, it is not necessary that they be chosen directly by the Commons. This is because of the party system and the presumption that the leader of a given party has the confidence of their MPs, even if they might not always have their full support.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 26th October 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Update on Transgender Prisoners – Parliament.uk

Posted October 12th, 2022 in gender, government departments, news, parliament, prisons, transgender persons by tracey

‘Statement made by Brandon Lewis – update on transgender prisoners.’

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Parliament.uk, 11th October 2022

Source: questions-statements.parliament.uk

Lord Hodge, Guildhall Lecture – Supreme Court

‘Lord Hodge, Guildhall Lecture – The Rule of Law, the Courts and the British Economy.’

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Supreme Court, 4th October 2022

Source: www.supremecourt.uk

Research briefing: Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill 2022-23 – House of Commons Library

Posted October 7th, 2022 in bills, budgets, health, national insurance, news, parliament, social services by tracey

‘The Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill 2022-23 [Bill 155 of 2022-23] was introduced on 22 September 2022.’

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House of Commons Library , 6th October 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Stephen Tierney: The Lord Advocate’s Reference: Referendums and Constitutional Convention – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Section 29(1) of the 1998 Act provides that an Act of the Scottish Parliament is not law so far as any provision of the Act is outside the legislative competence of the Parliament. A provision is outside that competence so far as it “relates to reserved matters” (s.29(2)(b)), and whether or not it relates to a reserved matter is to be determined by “reference to the purpose of the provision, having regard (among other things) to its effect in all the circumstances” (s.29(3)).’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 4th October 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Shona Wilson Stark and Raffael Fasel: Unconstitutionally Legal: How the UK Supreme Court Should Decide the Lord Advocate’s Reference – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On 28 June 2022, the Lord Advocate referred to the UK Supreme Court (“UKSC”) the question of whether the Scottish Parliament has the power to legislate for a second independence referendum (“Indyref 2”) without an Order enabling it do so under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 (a “section 30 Order”). Assuming the UKSC will accept the reference, we argue that it should rule that the Scottish Parliament has no legal power to pass legislation facilitating an independence referendum without a section 30 Order. However, we propose that this does not prevent the UKSC from attempting to break the deadlock by declaring that the UK Government is acting unconstitutionally in a political sense if it does not make a section 30 Order. Of course, there is no guarantee that a section 30 Order would be issued – we consider alternative pathways to an Indyref 2, including possible invocations of constituent power, in a forthcoming article – but we argue that this would be a constitutionally proper and desirable approach for the UKSC to take.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 3rd October 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Research Briefing: The death of a monarch – House of Commons Library

Posted September 14th, 2022 in bereavement, news, parliament, royal family by tracey

‘The death of a monarch – and the accession of a new sovereign – involves the Cabinet, the Privy Council, Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Church of England. This paper outlines the historical precedents for the events that will follow the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.’

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House of Commons Library , 9th September 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Research Briefing: Regulation of estate agents – House of Commons Library

Posted September 12th, 2022 in consultations, consumer protection, estate agents, housing, news, parliament by tracey

‘This briefing paper provides an outline of the current regulation of estate agents. It also looks at past market studies and consultations and considers in detail recent government proposals to tighten regulation.’

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House of Commons Library , 5th September 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Research Briefing: Commonwealth and Human Rights Research Briefing Published Tuesday, 30 August, 2022 – House of Commons Library

‘Describes the Commonwealth’s work on human rights and the issues it seeks to address, such as the economic empowerment of women and preventing modern slavery.’

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House of Commons Library , 30th August 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk