A year ago today, the country was put into lockdown. The aim was to hold back the COVID pandemic and to prevent it from spreading through the population beyond the inevitable. This was, said the Prime Minister, the biggest ever peacetime challenge to … [Read more...] about Is the constitution able to learn from mistakes?
The British constitution was, as recently as in the 1960s, ‘almost universally regarded as well-nigh perfect.’ Since then, however, it has been ‘substantially transformed’ from ‘order’ to ‘mess.’ So according to the late Anthony King, in his The … [Read more...] about Britain is not a well governed country
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’
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
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
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
In his second daily press briefing on Tuesday, the Prime Minister stated ‘We must act like any wartime government.’ Few would dispute the exceptional nature of the challenges we now face, or that extraordinary responses are required. The … [Read more...] about ‘Wartime Government’: The Constitutional Dimension