The Constitution Society is supporting a new initiative: the United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group (UKCMG). The UKCMG was formed in 2020 in the light of sustained controversies surrounding arrangements for the governance of the UK. Its … [Read more...] about NEW INITIATIVE: United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group
Constitutional conventions are tricky creatures. Famously described by AV Dicey (1885) as “the morality of the constitution”, conventions establish non-legal rules of political conduct. They derive, in Ivor Jennings’ (1959) and Geoffrey Marshall’s … [Read more...] about How (not) to kill a constitutional convention: Theresa May’s intervention in Syria, April 2018
The Joint Committee on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, which met for the first time on 26 November 2020, has now finished its oral evidence sessions. This blog will attempt to give a brief overview of some the issues that have been investigated by … [Read more...] about The Joint Committee on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act: an update
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has laid over 360 Statutory Instruments (‘SIs’) before Parliament. This continues a wider trend: government reliance upon delegated legislation to enact policy. Whilst this trend can be justified … [Read more...] about Coronavirus regulations and the abuse of the ‘urgency procedure’
Britain’s referendum problem Veteran columnist Matthew Parris dedicated his first column inches of 2021 to a topic that has crept down the political agenda in Britain since 2016: the referendum. This was a descent from heady heights, as the device … [Read more...] about The referendum and the ‘rules of the game’
England has one of the most centralised systems of government in the world. And yet, ever since 1997, every government has promised more devolution. This blog looks back at what has actually happened and summarises the present unsatisfactory state of … [Read more...] about English devolution (and the mystery of the disappearing speech)
The Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is increasingly unstable. The last several years of UK politics have seen growing support for Scottish independence and relations between the four governments of the UK are increasingly … [Read more...] about Starmer’s Labour and devolution: what have we learned so far?
When Public lawyers are asked about independence, the type that probably first comes to mind is judicial independence. The necessity of judicial independence in a democratic society is clear, even if its meaning is contested. The COVID-19 pandemic … [Read more...] about Judicial and scientific independence
Which activities are essential during a pandemic? Across England, school buildings have been closed, as have many shops, businesses and sports facilities. So what about elections? Should they go ahead? It’s an important question since local elections … [Read more...] about UK government has delayed elections longer than most countries – and England still isn’t ready to hold pandemic votes in May
In the first Constitution Society interview of 2021, Dr Andrew Blick talks to Professor Vernon Bogdanor about constitutional prospects for the forthcoming year. In a wide-ranging discussion, they cover the possibility of Scottish independence; the … [Read more...] about The constitution in 2021: in conversation with Vernon Bogdanor
As Dr Andrew Blick highlighted in his piece on this blog looking back at the year just passed, if there’s one thing 2020 has demonstrated it’s the propensity for the unexpected to change the narrative. This propensity of course remains present as we … [Read more...] about 2021: what lies ahead?
The New Year Honours list provides us with just one example of the various and wide-ranging forms of patronage at the disposal of the UK government. This post explores the potential for its abuse. According to its critics, the current government … [Read more...] about Cronyism, Covid and the Constitution