Ep 143: Henry VIII Powers undermining parliamentary supremacy – Law Pod UK

‘In this episode, Rosalind English discusses with Sarabjit Singh and Isabel McArdle of 1 Crown Office Row a number of laws containing “Henry VIII” powers which allow ministers to avoid full parliamentary debate.’

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Law Pod UK, 4th May 2021

Source: audioboom.com

Rodney Brazier: Mr Johnson and His Flat – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted May 4th, 2021 in ministers' powers and duties, news, parliament, political parties by tracey

‘Let me begin with what should be platitudinous. The presumption of innocence is a cherished legal principle in the United Kingdom. No one is guilty of a crime unless a court so decides after a fair hearing, and anyone accused of wrongdoing short of a crime is entitled to the protection of an analogous principle. Politicians must account to Parliament, and are answerable to the voters. Politicians must obey the law and comply with relevant codes of conduct.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 4th May 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Grenfell: Government defeated on fire safety costs bill – BBC News

‘The government has been defeated for a fourth time on its Fire Safety Bill as the House of Lords voted to shield residents from fire safety work costs.’

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BBC News, 27th April 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Parliament’s power needs to be restored after its ‘shocking’ marginalisation by government – UCL Constitution Unit

‘The Constitution Unit has jointly written a briefing to all MPs – summarised in a letter in the Times published on 21 April 2021 – with the Hansard Society, Public Law Project and Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law warning that parliamentary accountability and control over decisions have diminished to a degree that would have been unthinkable before COVID-19. Individual MPs have also been shut out of participation, and the vast majority of Commons votes are now held by party whips.’

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UCL Constitution Unit, 21st April 2021

Source: www.ucl.ac.uk

‘No meaningful parliamentary debate or scrutiny’ of Covid laws, says former government legal chief – The Independent

‘The British government’s former top lawyer has called for urgent changes to the way coronavirus laws are made after a year without any “meaningful parliamentary debate or scrutiny”.’

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The Independent, 20th April 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Demands for ‘urgent’ reform after watchdog finds ‘no boundaries’ for civil servants in private jobs – The Independent

‘The head of a Whitehall watchdog has called for “urgent” reform of the system for vetting private sector appointments for senior civil servants and ministers, warning that “there doesn’t seem to have been any boundaries at all” for an adviser who moved straight from the heart of government to the failed finance company Greensill.’

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The Independent, 16th April 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Extreme lockdown laws extended for a further six months despite major Tory revolt – The Independent

‘Draconian lockdown laws imposed one year ago have been extended for a further six months, despite a major Tory revolt.
The Coronavirus Act – granting powers over everything from school closures and public gatherings to the detention of infected people – was renewed by MPs, by 484 votes to 76.’

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The Independent, 25th March 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Fiona de Londras: Six-Monthly Votes on the Coronavirus Act 2020: A Meaningful Mode of Review? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 25th, 2021 in coronavirus, emergency powers, news, parliament, regulations, reports, time limits by sally

‘A year since the Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent, Parliament will today (25 March 2021) once more debate the Coronavirus Act 2020 and its effects, effectiveness, and continuation. The Coronavirus Act 2020 is a touchpoint in the legal and regulatory response to the pandemic.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 25th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Florence Powell and Stephanie Needleman: How radical an instrument is Section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The operation of the Human Rights Act 1998 (the “HRA”) is currently being reviewed by the Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review (the “Review”). One of the Review’s key themes is “the impact of the HRA on the relationship between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature”. In respect of this theme, the Terms of Reference ask how s.3 has operated and whether it should be amended or repealed.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Ministry of Justice to consult on judicial review reforms including power to suspend quashing orders, removal of ‘Cart judgments’, and procedural changes – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on giving the courts the power to suspend quashing orders, removing so-called “Cart judgments”, and introducing a series of changes to civil procedure rules, following recommendations by the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) led by Lord Faulks QC.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 19th March 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Right to challenge government in courts overhauled – BBC News

‘Plans to change how government decisions are challenged in the courts have been announced by the justice secretary.’

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BBC News, 18th March 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Bill that curtails ability to protest in England and Wales passes second reading – The Guardian

Posted March 17th, 2021 in bills, criminal justice, demonstrations, news, parliament, police by sally

‘A landmark government crime bill has passed its first parliamentary hurdle, even as some Conservative MPs served notice that they might subsequently support amendments to water down controversial restrictions against protests.’

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The Guardian, 16th March 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Max Taylor: Parliamentary Confirmation of Ministerial Nominations – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 11th, 2021 in constitutional law, Crown, ministers' powers and duties, news, parliament by sally

‘In terms of government formation, there are two kinds of parliamentary system: “…countries where the government needs to win an investiture vote are said to have positive parliamentarism, while countries in which the government just needs to be tolerated by parliament are said to have negative parliamentarism”. By this definition, the UK has a negative parliamentary system (excepting s. 2(5), Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011): the Queen appoints the Prime Minister by inviting him to form a Government; and subsequent ministers are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the PM; but the House of Commons may move that it has no confidence in HM Government. Compared to a positive parliamentary system – e.g. Spain, where the appointment of the King’s prime ministerial nominee requires a successful vote of confidence by an absolute majority of the Congress of Deputies – a negative one has three disadvantages. These are that there is a democratic deficit in the Government; obscurity in a Government’s democratic mandate, under hung parliaments; and that there are inadequate checks and balances between the Government and Parliament.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 11th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

“You don’t have the votes!” – 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

Posted March 10th, 2021 in chambers articles, elections, local government, news, parliament by sally

‘Imagine. The UK May 2024 general election is finally drawing to a close. After months of campaigning, the votes are in and pundits are predicting a clear win for Party A. The leader of Party B is concerned the election was not fair and accusations of voter fraud and spoiled ballots begin to fly on social media and the national news. How will this be investigated? Will anyone be prosecuted? Could the election result really be overturned?’

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4-5 Gray's Inn Square, 4th March 2021

Source: www.4-5.co.uk

Steven Chaplin: Review of Parliaments and the Pandemic – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘As the pandemic moves into its second year, the effects on Parliaments, not only as legislating and accountability bodies but as institutions, are becoming more apparent. What began as a series of emergency measures imposed by government, generally supported by all parties, has given way to longer term concerns regarding government accountability and the sidelining of Parliament, along with some consideration and re-imagining of post-pandemic Parliaments.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 8th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Covid-19 Has Highlighted Why Secondary Legislation Needs Reforming – Each Other

Posted March 4th, 2021 in coronavirus, news, parliament, regulations by sally

‘Every year, Parliament makes hundreds of changes to UK law with little to no scrutiny from elected MPs. Partnering with EachOther, the legal charity Public Law Project has launched a video – available to watch below – calling for this process to be reformed. In this article, Alexandra Sinclair, the Public Law Project’s research fellow, explains more about the campaign.’

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Each Other, 4th March 2021

Source: eachother.org.uk

Law in a Time of Crisis by Jonathan Sumption review – beyond the lockdown sceptic – The Guardian

‘The former judge and renowned historian loses his cool on Covid and the culture wars.’

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The Guardian, 3rd March 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Daniella Lock, Fiona de Londras and Pablo Grez Hidalgo: Parliamentary Engagement with Human Rights under COVID-19 and the Independent Human Rights Act Review – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘As the deadline for submissions to Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR) passes this week, the appropriate division of constitutional labour in respect of human rights protection continues to attract debate. The terms of reference for the IHRAR suggests a focus on the role of the courts in protecting rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). In particular, it asks whether the roles of the courts, Parliament and the Government are appropriately “balanced” in this respect. In our submission to the IHRAR we have highlighted that, in line with the structure and principles of the UK constitution, the HRA is designed to give Parliament a leading role in human rights protection. In spite of this, however, we have further noted that Parliament too often fails to undertake appropriate rights-related deliberation, scrutiny and engagement of legislative and policy action.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 3rd March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

New Acts – legislation.gov.uk

Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Act 2021

Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

Government agrees to call pregnant ministers ‘mothers’ – The Independent

‘The government has agreed to change the wording in its new maternity leave legislation from referring to “pregnant people” to “mothers” after the phrasing was rejected by the House of Lords – despite gender-neutral language being government convention.’

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The Independent, 26th February 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk