With Parliament returning this week, the government will continue legislating on a range of constitutional issues, including the calling of UK general elections, political protest, and voter identification. Although its programme of constitutional … [Read more...] about The government’s approach to the UK constitution: cause for concern
I recently published with Oxford University Press UK Politics, a textbook aimed at undergraduates. When I began work on it in mid-2017, an important motivation was the sense that there was a need for a title that reflected many changes that were … [Read more...] about The ever-changing constitution
The doctrine that the UK Parliament is sovereign and cannot bind its successors is at the heart of the UK constitution. It means that the government of the day can replace, amend or repeal with relative ease any constitutional legislation passed by … [Read more...] about So long, EVEL and the FTPA: one step forward, one step back?
The Joint Committee on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act reported on 18 March 2021. What follows is a brief summary of its core conclusions. As I have said previously on this blog, it is essential that the Committee’s recommendations and view of the … [Read more...] about Report of the Joint Committee on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act: summary note
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
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’
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?
As expected, 2020 brought constitutional turbulence, but not wholly of the type we might have foreseen. At the outset of the year, it was reasonable to anticipate various strains lying ahead. They looked set to arise from the programme on which the … [Read more...] about 2020: constitutional review of the year
Stephen Hockman QC was called to the Bar in 1970 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1990. Dave Drew is a General Counsel who has worked previously in the House of Commons. Introduction As is widely known, the Conservative Party have plans to make … [Read more...] about Constitutional reform: a legal perspective on the issues
One passage in particular from the 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto has generated considerable discussion among constitutional observers. It comprised the promise that, if elected, a Conservative government would set up a Constitution, … [Read more...] about The Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission: death by independent review
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 made major changes to the way that general elections are called in the United Kingdom. It took away the prime minister’s ability to call early elections at a time of their choosing, and handed this power instead to … [Read more...] about How could the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 be improved?