The Constitution Society

Working to promote informed debate about constitutional reform

The Constitution Society is an independent, non-party educational foundation which works to promote informed debate about constitutional reform. We take no position on specific reform proposals but advocate better legislative standards and oppose ill-considered, piecemeal change.

Latest blog posts

Are we heading towards an illegal wildcat Scottish independence referendum?

By: Elisenda Casanas-Adam

In the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary election on 6 May, the possibility of another Scottish independence referendum has been at the centre of the political and constitutional debate. The SNP published an 11-point plan that states that, if it remains in government and there is a parliamentary majority to do so, it will… [Read More…]about Are we heading towards an illegal wildcat Scottish independence referendum?

Report of the Committee of Privileges: Select committees and contempts

By: Malcolm Jack

After a protracted inquiry, begun originally in 2016 by its predecessor committee, the Commons Select Committee of Privileges has produced its report, entitled ‘Select committees and contempts: clarifying and strengthening powers to call for persons, papers and records’, (1st Report Session 2019-21 HC 350) on 27th April 2021. The main recommendation of the report is… [Read More…]about Report of the Committee of Privileges: Select committees and contempts

Greensill: a bridge too far?

By: David Laughrin

The relationship between the public, private and voluntary sectors is vitally important for both economic success and social cohesion. Anything that undermines mutual co-operation and constructive dialogue, and deters well-regulated movement between them, is potentially damaging. Any ill-considered flirting with venal unethical practices or, equally, any hurling of blunderbuss accusations of sleaze across the boundaries,… [Read More…]about Greensill: a bridge too far?

How Parliament would take control

By: Stein Ringen

The experience of COVID is this: The British system was unable to control and prevent the spread of the virus (see Britain is not a well governed country). It was later able to treat and manage the pandemic, through the NHS and the rollout of the vaccine, but too late and at colossal cost in… [Read More…]about How Parliament would take control

A gameable electoral system? The Additional Member System in Scotland

By: David Klemperer

What is Scotland’s electoral system? Elections to Scotland’s devolved Parliament are held under the Additional Member System (AMS). Under AMS, 73 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are elected in single-member constituencies, and 56 are elected on regional lists. Electors receive two ballots – one to vote for an individual candidate in their constituency, and… [Read More…]about A gameable electoral system? The Additional Member System in Scotland

Latest publications

Union at the Crossroads: Can the British state handle the challenges of devolution? by Michael Kenny, Philip Rycroft and Jack Sheldon

The future of the UK Union is of increasing salience for British policy-makers. Against the backdrop of the twin crises of Brexit and coronavirus, speculation about its break-up has become widespread. Boris Johnson’s administration has so far approached the existential threat to the state it governs by adopting a notably assertive style of unionism, expressed… [Read More…]about Union at the Crossroads: Can the British state handle the challenges of devolution? by Michael Kenny, Philip Rycroft and Jack Sheldon

Climate Change and Democratic Representation by Stanley Kwong

Can Select Committees influence a company’s environmental, social and governance credentials? In this paper, Stanley Kwong examines the role of House of Commons Select Committees in scrutinising companies on their sustainability records and holding them publicly accountable. He observes that the investigative approach of Select Committees makes them well-placed to perform this function, and argues… [Read More…]about Climate Change and Democratic Representation by Stanley Kwong

Constitutional reform: Sustaining a viable United Kingdom through the 21st century by Thomas Legg, Stephen Green and Martin Donnelly

This new report from the Policy Reform Group offers the expert analysis of Sir Thomas Legg, Lord Stephen Green, and Sir Martin Donnelly on the constitutional challenges facing the United Kingdom. These highly-experienced, former senior practitioners set out the fundamental reforms they believe are necessary to ensure the effective functioning and continued viability of the… [Read More…]about Constitutional reform: Sustaining a viable United Kingdom through the 21st century by Thomas Legg, Stephen Green and Martin Donnelly