This is the final instalment of four pieces on the place and function of royal commissions, you can find the previous blogs HERE. Anyone who has listened to recent evidence coming out of the Covid Inquiry will be struck by just how … [Read more...] about Royal Commissions Part Four: Once and Future Royal Commissions?
Introduction In Part 1 of this piece I summarised the role of Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) and some trends that it had flagged during the last parliamentary session. Broadly speaking, these included: (1) a … [Read more...] about Spotlight on the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee – Part 2
In November 2021, two parliamentary committees declared that the use and overbreadth of delegated legislation had shifted power irreparably away from Parliament and that only a total “reset” would suffice. One of them, the Secondary Legislation … [Read more...] about Spotlight on the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee – Part 1
The House of Lords Appointment Commission (HOLAC) hasn’t often featured in the news in its 23-year history. To be sure, there have been on-going controversies over appointments to the Lords, but recently there have been a series of controversies in … [Read more...] about House of Lords Appointment Commission (HOLAC) – Chronicle of a Death Foretold?
Journalists often ask, as they asked at the time, whether the Johnson government was corrupt. My response at the time was that 'there was more corruption and corruption risk in and around this government than any British government since … [Read more...] about Revisited: Is Britain ‘Politically Corrupt’?
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
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
In 1647 the Putney Debates brought people together to discuss the future of democracy following the victory of the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. On 24th March 2023, The Constitution Society brought together academics and constitutional … [Read more...] about Conference review – A crisis in UK democracy?
Little is ever said or known about the most populous group in parliament, the Members’ staff. Though we are an overwhelming majority in Parliament, not much is understood about our role in the wider political arena. The reason for this is that it’s … [Read more...] about MPs’ offices are at capacity
Amidst the waves of criticism of Israel’s proposed reforms to the judicial system, British constitutional scholars have had to deal with a slight sense of embarrassment. The proposals by the government of Binyamin Netanyahu have, at their … [Read more...] about A fair comparison? Israel’s reforms and the UK
Few, if any, independent observers believe that the United Kingdom has been well governed over recent years. The causes are many and complex but relatively little attention has been paid to the contribution of the senior civil service to … [Read more...] about A mounting crisis? A survey and summary of reports into the senior civil service
Words scarcely do justice to the turbulence of the last two months. With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a new head of state, two new prime ministers, two new chancellors, countless ministerial appointments and resignations, economic turmoil and the … [Read more...] about Braverman’s new world