Constitutional principles

England’s 50 Presidents: Your Vote on May 2nd

By: Colin Talbot

On May 2nd voters in England will elect 50 ‘presidents’. They are not actually called presidents, but they have many of the features of a presidential form of government. So who are these ‘presidents’ and how did the UK, or more specifically … [Read more...] about England’s 50 Presidents: Your Vote on May 2nd

The Post Office Bill: Constitutionally Unusual, but not Inappropriate

By: Kate Dewsnip

Less than a week after the broadcast of the ITV drama, Mr Bates vs. The Post Office, the Government announced new legislation intended to quash the convictions of hundreds of Post Office employees who were wrongly prosecuted and convicted of … [Read more...] about The Post Office Bill: Constitutionally Unusual, but not Inappropriate

The Rwanda bill: A constitutional tipping point? 

By: Stuart Wallace

Introduction In late 2023, the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) handed down their judgment in the case of R (SAA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. In a unanimous judgment, the UKSC held that the Home Secretary’s policy that certain people … [Read more...] about The Rwanda bill: A constitutional tipping point? 

Choosing party leaders

By: Alys Thomas

Introduction This is a blog about the constitutional issues at stake when it comes to the self-selecting memberships of political parties choosing party leaders and thus Prime Ministers.[1] As this blog is being drafted, there is some … [Read more...] about Choosing party leaders

The transformation of collective responsibility

By: Laura Gherman

Collective responsibility is a constitutional convention which has existed since the eighteenth century aiming to unite ministers so that they speak with one voice when facing a monarch and the public. The principles behind this convention were born … [Read more...] about The transformation of collective responsibility

HS2 and the constitutional issues of infrastructure

By: Laura Gherman

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) is the Government’s centre of expertise, infrastructure and major projects. It gave HS2 an ‘unachievable’ rating in its latest Annual Report, where it noted huge issues around budget, … [Read more...] about HS2 and the constitutional issues of infrastructure

The Dangers of Governance by Guidance

By: Kate Dewsnip

On 23 March 2020, during a televised broadcast to the nation, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s intention to impose an immediate ‘stay at home’ order on the entirety of the UK. During the broadcast it was made clear that these new … [Read more...] about The Dangers of Governance by Guidance

Two Approaches to Constitutional Vulnerability

By: David Klemperer

Over the past few years growing concerns have been expressed about weaknesses in the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements. In response to the upheavals generated by Brexit, the draconian measures necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic and … [Read more...] about Two Approaches to Constitutional Vulnerability

Cracking the whip: the UK’s party control system

By: Tabitha Troughton

What to say about the UK's whipping system, apart from the fact that one of Boris Johnson's former aides has just made it the subject of what the Guardian describes as a 'Jilly Cooper-esque satire'? My research for the Constitution … [Read more...] about Cracking the whip: the UK’s party control system

More Bonaparte than Bagehot 

By: David Klemperer

Review of Richard Johnson and Yuan Yi Zhu, Sceptical Perspectives on the Changing Constitution of the United Kingdom (Bloomsbury, 2023) It is by now a truism that the Brexit referendum of 2016 brought constitutional issues to the fore of … [Read more...] about More Bonaparte than Bagehot 

The purpose of legislative scrutiny

By: Kate Dewsnip

It is broadly accepted that parliamentary scrutiny of legislation is a ‘good’ thing and that, if possible, there should be more of it. It is also broadly accepted that it is often ineffective and wrongfully subverted. As a result, most commentaries … [Read more...] about The purpose of legislative scrutiny