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 Priti Patel affair highlights some general peculiarities of the UK constitution. At the centre of this episode lies a document, the Ministerial Code. This text, which formed the basis of the investigation into the Home Secretary, is regarded as … [Read more...] about De-coding the constitution?
Dominic Cummings’ departure from No. 10 has been widely been framed as a ‘reset’ moment for the government. But will it reset the government’s approach to the constitution? It seems that Downing Street is keen, at least on some level, to encourage … [Read more...] about Cummings and the constitution: continuity or change?
With hindsight, the manner of Dominic Cummings’ departure from No.10 was predictable. Intense public controversy has surrounded much of his career, including his tenure as the most senior special adviser to Boris Johnson after the latter became Prime … [Read more...] about Exit Cummings: the historical perspective
A change of regime in Washington is always likely to produce international repositioning. The sharp shift in tone and content now anticipated has already made an impact in the United Kingdom (UK), as elsewhere. After the result of the United States … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson and Donald Trump: constitutional common ground?
The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has provided much inspiration for this blog lately. It continues to do so with its inquiry, currently open, into ‘[t]he role and status of the Prime Minister’s … [Read more...] about The Prime Minister’s Office: opacity with a purpose
Recent controversies surrounding Dominic Cummings, the most senior aide to the Prime Minister, have once again drawn attention to the constitutional role played by special advisers. Vernon Bogdanor, professor at King's College London, has been … [Read more...] about Special advisers: in conversation with Vernon Bogdanor