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 Internet is a subject of sustained public interest. There is intense discussion, in the UK as elsewhere, of its implications, and how we should respond to them. Both optimistic and pessimistic interpretations of the technology are possible, often … [Read more...] about The Internet and the constitution: an historical perspective
Although the pandemic has heightened the importance of delegated legislation in everyday policymaking, government reliance on delegated legislation has been on the rise for around a century. In 1921, Cecil Carr described the relationship between … [Read more...] about In the highest degree, delegated and discretionary
For better public policy, Parliament should assert itself and take control of its own business (see How Parliament would take control). But what kind of Parliament? An influential idea in political thinking is that governments need to be strong in … [Read more...] about The English delusion
In evidence at the joint session of the Commons Select Committees on Science and Technology and of Health and Social Care, Dominic Cummings promised to provide confidential documents for the Committees in respect of the government’s handling of … [Read more...] about Official Secrets Act and Parliamentary Privilege
Asked if the prime minister, Boris Johnson, is a fit and proper person to get us through the COVID-19 pandemic, the former chief advisor to the prime minister, Dominic Cummings, replied: ‘No’. This damning verdict was given as part of evidence to the … [Read more...] about Cummings on stage: what does it tell us about select committees?
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?