After a protracted inquiry, begun originally in 2016 by its predecessor committee, the Commons Select Committee of Privileges has produced its report, entitled ‘Select committees and contempts: clarifying and strengthening powers to call for persons, … [Read more...] about Report of the Committee of Privileges: Select committees and contempts
The experience of COVID is this: The British system was unable to control and prevent the spread of the virus (see Britain is not a well governed country).It was later able to treat and manage the pandemic, through the NHS and the rollout of the … [Read more...] about How Parliament would take control
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
A Joint Committee of both Houses is at present inquiring into the government’s introduction of a Bill to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 and the consequences that will flow from that. The Committee plans to report to both Houses by the end … [Read more...] about Fixed-term Parliaments Act: considerations for the Joint Committee
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
Rt Hon Lord Tyler CBE, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson, Political and Constitutional Reform One might have hoped – with Trump’s exit – that his UK protégés might have given up the tricks of the Trump playbook. However, take a look behind the Brexit … [Read more...] about Parliamentary sovereignty or elective dictatorship?
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’
The UK Internal Market Bill (IMB) continues to draw much criticism and opposition as it makes its way through Parliament – most recently suffering a historic 268 vote defeat in the House of Lords. But what questions does its drafting and possible … [Read more...] about Should civil servants follow instructions to act unlawfully?
Yesterday I gave oral evidence (via Zoom) to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). It is conducting an inquiry into the government's proposed 'Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission'. … [Read more...] about Waiting for the Commission