Ministers to press ahead with legislation to exonerate Post Office Horizon victims – The Guardian

‘Ministers have vowed to press ahead with legislation to automatically overturn convictions related to the Post Office Horizon scandal by the end of July.’

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The Guardian, 22nd February 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Lewis Graham: Paused Policies, Secret Policies and the Rule of Law: XY v Secretary of State for the Home Department – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘It is hard to think of a concept with a more contested definition in legal and political circles than “the rule of law”. The question of what content (if any) might be found within it (and indeed, what “it” even is – a political truth? A normative ideal? A mere slogan?) has been taken up, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, by first-year law students, wizened academics, campaigning groups and politicians. If it sometimes seems that a thicker, rights-laden understanding of the term has taken root, detractors are always quick to emerge, eager to remind us of what the rule of law is and what it is not. There is a real danger in piling too much upon the notion so as to distort the concept, which may cause us to lose sight of why the rule of law is uniquely important. At the very least, framing the rule of law narrowly helps ensure that an appropriate degree of opprobrium can be generated in those instances when it is, in fact, undermined.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd February 2024

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Unmanaged illegal migration brings rule of law into disrepute – Chalk – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted February 2nd, 2024 in immigration, international law, news, rule of law, Russia, Ukraine, war by sally

‘Unmanaged illegal migration risks bringing the rule of law into disrepute, the lord chancellor said last night. In a speech to legislators and lawyers during a visit to the US, Alex Chalk MP said such migration “disregards borders and is putting undue pressure on the national systems of rules-based countries like ours and is a fundamental challenge to our democracies.”‘

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Law Society's Gazette, 1st February 2024

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Jeff King: The House of Lords, Constitutional Propriety, and the Safety of Rwanda Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 29 January 2024, having cleared the House of Commons unamended. There are a great many problems with the Rwanda Bill, any of which might weigh with the Lords, but this blog post focuses on just one: the likelihood that, if enacted, the Bill may well trigger a constitutional crisis between the courts and Parliament. It would be a crisis that is likely to endure beyond the life of the policy embodied in the Bill. I argue here that one of the roles of the House of Lords is to act as a constitutional safeguard, a steam-valve, and, in exercise of this function under the rare circumstances that attend this Bill, it would be legitimate for the Lords to not only make and insist upon far-reaching changes to the Bill, but even to refuse to pass it altogether. This post is not concerned with the realpolitik of whether peers would in fact vote the Bill down – though I come to the point in the conclusion. It rather seeks to refute the constitutional argument that it would be illegitimate to block or make potent amendments to it.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 26th January 2024

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Robert Craig: The constitutional implications of legislating to exonerate the Post Office sub-postmasters – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Some commentators have claimed that the decision to expedite the process of formally exonerating the sub-postmasters potentially runs afoul of certain core constitutional principles, in particular the separation of powers. It has also been claimed that the “crown does not have a prerogative of justice but only a prerogative of mercy”. This blog considers and challenges those claims.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 16th January 2024

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill is step towards totalitarianism, top lawyer in the Lords warns – The Independent

‘A leading lawyer who sits in the Lords has warned that Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill is “a step toward totalitarianism”.’

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The Independent, 18th January 2024

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Legislating fiction – EIN Blog

‘Members of Parliament in the UK will on 16 and 17 January 2024 debate the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, which “gives effect to the judgement of Parliament that the Republic of Rwanda is a safe country” for asylum-seekers. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November 2023 that Rwanda was manifestly not safe as asylum seekers sent to the country would face a real risk of ill-treatment due to insufficient guarantees against refoulement. The Bill thus aims to use law to determine a factual situation for as long as the law is in force. This blog discusses the risks inherent in creating such a “legal fiction” and how the Bill could be revised to mitigate this risk, before assessing the chances of it becoming law in the currently turbulent political context.’

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EIN Blog, 16th January 2024

Source: www.ein.org.uk

Sanjit Nagi: The Stranglehold of New Labour and Lord Irvine’s Rights-based Constitution – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Last year’s Supreme Court decision in R (AAA) v Home Secretary – which found the British government’s Rwanda policy to be unlawful – has reignited broader debates about the position of a government which commands a majority in Parliament vis a vis the judiciary, the separation of powers, the extent to which legislating against judicial decisions is constitutionally proper or compatible with the rule of law, and the appropriateness of disapplying sections of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998). This post does not restate or reengage with such topics; substantive attention has already been given by Tom Hickman KC, Professor Mark Elliott, Adam Tucker, Professor Sarah Singer, and Richard Ekins KC et al. Neither does it take a position on the feasibility or desirability of any specific government policy, the continued operation of HRA 1998, or membership of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Instead, this post will argue that the backlash to and disapproval of the British government’s response to R (AAA) – the introduction of the Safety of Rwanda Bill, which, amongst other measures, allows Parliament to diverge from the Supreme Court’s judgment – neatly evidences the intended effect of New Labour and Lord Derry Irvine’s HRA 1998 system and judicial reforms.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 15th January 2024

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

‘Dangerous path to go down’: four legal experts on the Post Office exoneration bill – The Guardian

‘The government’s decision to pass a law overturning the convictions of post office operators has left many lawyers and judges uneasy.’

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The Guardian, 11th January 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Sammy Talalay: The Lord Chancellor, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘At the beginning of the year, this blog covered the report from the House of Lords Constitution Committee into the Lord Chancellor and the Law Officers, with Conor Casey’s post focusing in particular on the latter. This post aims to ensure that 2023 is bookended by consideration of the issues addressed in the committee’s report – and in the subsequent Lords debate on that report in July – by providing a closer look at the role of the Lord Chancellor.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th December 2023

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Some lawyers’ conduct poses “significant risk to the rule of law” – Legal Futures

Posted December 1st, 2023 in barristers, legal profession, news, rule of law, solicitors by tracey

‘Lawyers can sometimes be “too inclined” to act unethically or use a “mistaken” adherence to an overly narrow view of the rule of law to justify questionable conduct, major new research has said.’

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Legal Futures, 1st December 2023

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

James Milton: Rule of Law, Political Accountability and the Importance of Culture – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted November 30th, 2023 in news, parliament, political parties, rule of law, standards by sally

‘Political accountability plays a key role in the operation of the rule of law. This is the main claim I seek to defend through this blog post. My framework here is that the rule of law is just as concerned about the ethos of public officials as it is their actions. Political accountability acts as a mechanism through which the ethos behind public officials actions and decision-making can be monitored. As a result, political accountability plays a crucial part in the operation of the rule of law.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 30th November 2023

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Speech by the Lord Chief Justice: Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates Conference 2023 – Courts & Tribunals Judiciary

Posted September 12th, 2023 in anonymity, civil justice, criminal justice, media, news, remote hearings, rule of law, speeches by tracey

‘Open Justice Today Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates Conference 2023.’

Full speech

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Courts & Tribunals Judiciary, 11th September 2023

Source: www.judiciary.uk

‘Less transparent and democratic’: damning verdict on rule of law – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Law-making has become less transparent, less accountable, less inclusive and less democratic, legal thinktank Justice has said in a damning report published today on the government’s approach to the rule of law.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 11th September 2023

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Philip Murray: Reconsidering Ouster Clauses: The High Court’s Decision in Oceana – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted July 7th, 2023 in constitutional law, news, parliament, rule of law by tracey

‘To many, ouster clauses represent a conflict between, on the one hand, the will of a sovereign Parliament and, on the other, the rule of law’s demands that public bodies act within the limits of their powers. The common law has traditionally sought to interpret ouster clauses restrictively, employing reasoning articulated classically (but far from the first time) in Anisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission [1969] 2 AC 147 and continued more recently in R (Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22. That reasoning provides that ouster clauses do not apply where a public body has acted outside its jurisdiction: the “decision”, “determination”, etc (in the language of the clause) is null and void, such that there is nothing in law to which the clause might attach. The courts are thus able to safeguard the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court while still claiming to pay due respect to Parliament’s decrees.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 5th July 2023

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Public Lecture at The School of Law, Economics and Governance, University of Malawi by the Lord Chief Justice – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted June 8th, 2023 in judiciary, news, rule of law by tracey

‘Judicial Independence and Accountability in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities.’

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Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 5th June 2023

Source: www.judiciary.uk

Stephen Tierney and Alison L. Young: The House of Lords Constitution Committee Reports on the Illegal Migration Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Constitution Committee has released its report on the Illegal Migration Bill 2022-23. The Committee raises a number of concerns, including its potential impact on the rule of law, human rights, devolution, delegated powers, and parliamentary scrutiny. We await the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights which will most likely comment in more detail on the implications of the Bill for the United Kingdom’s international obligations.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 23rd May 2023

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Default Rules in the Common Law: Substantive Rules and Precedent – Supreme Court

Posted April 28th, 2023 in judges, rule of law, speeches by tracey

‘Default Rules in the Common Law: Substantive Rules and Precedent, presentation at International Workshop on Default Rules in Private Law.’

Full speech

Supreme Court, 24th march 2023

Source: www.supremecourt.uk

LSB to put focus on “ethical competence” of lawyers – Legal Futures

‘There needs to be more focus on the “ethical competence” of lawyers throughout their careers, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has suggested.’

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Legal Futures, 25th April 2023

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Ignoring ECHR orders would threaten rule of law, legal figures warn – The Independent

‘Any move to allow ministers to ignore European Court of Human Rights orders stopping the removal of migrants would undermine the rule of law, senior legal figures have warned.’

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The Independent, 20th April 2023

Source: www.independent.co.uk