A highly topical research paper on Referendums and the Constitution by The Constitution Society, focusing on the use of referendums in the United Kingdom (UK). The June 2016 referendum on European Union membership lies at the centre of one of the … [Read more...] about Referendums and the Constitution
Text of Nat le Roux’s presentation on Parliamentary Sovereignty at the McDougall Trust workshop, 9th November 2016: The governing norm of our constitution is the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty, which means that Parliament is the supreme … [Read more...] about Is there a tension between Parliamentary Democracy and referendums?
The original article can be found on the Better Government Initiative website. THE CHILCOT REPORT: LESSONS FOR THE MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT A commentary by the Better Government Initiative Key Issues 1. The Chilcot report offers many lessons on … [Read more...] about Commentary by the Better Government Initiative: The Chilcot Report – Lessons for the Machinery of Government
Shortly after the opening of the debate on the Queen’s Speech on 18 May, rumours began to circulate about a controversial amendment to the traditional, formulaic Motion for an Address of thanks that was going to be tabled. That in itself is … [Read more...] about The Queen’s Speech: An Unsatisfactory Reply?
In the wake of the ‘leave’ outcome of the European Union (EU) referendum on 23 June, a key focus of interest is upon the manner in which the United Kingdom (UK) can give constitutional as well as legal effect to that outcome. Law is a necessary … [Read more...] about Using the Prerogative for Major Constitutional Change: The United Kingdom Constitution and Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union
This research paper focuses on the constitutional role of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom. The paper builds on existing academic research suggesting that the House of Lords performs a specific ‘constitutional guardianship’ role. Based on … [Read more...] about Talking to the Guardians: The Constitutional Role of the House of Lords
With a new Prime Minister taking office today, The Constitution Society is publishing a pamphlet providing a timely discussion of the nature of the British Premiership. A little over 50 years ago in 1965 the journal Parliamentary Affairs published … [Read more...] about The Power of the Prime Minister: 50 Years on
The EU referendum and some paradoxes of democratic legitimacy, Nat le Roux In a parliamentary democracy, referendums are potentially destabilising because they generate alternative, competing, sources of democratic legitimacy. A majority of … [Read more...] about The EU referendum and some paradoxes of democratic legitimacy
Since ancient times the House of Commons has claimed privilege in respect of financial legislation, whether over bills dealing with taxation or the granting of money to the Executive. Conventions governing the way restrictions apply to the House of … [Read more...] about Financial Privilege: The Undoubted and Sole Right of the Commons?
This paper by Lewis Baston follows up on his previous Constitution Society pamphlet, Electoral Collision Course, published in 2014. The 2014 report dealt with the interaction between two apparently unrelated changes to electoral law. These were the … [Read more...] about Pushing The Boundaries of Democratic Practice: Individual Registration and Boundaries, Revisited
The outcome of the referendum on 23 June 2016 will, in practice, bind the government on the question of whether or not the United Kingdom will remain in the EU. This paper does not engage in the issues about ‘remain’ or ‘leave’ about which it is … [Read more...] about Brexit: The Immediate Legal Consequences
This pamphlet explores the arrangements for guardianship of the UK constitution and its values and the role of the House of Lords in particular. Effective constitutional guardianship is important in any liberal democracy. In most democracies the … [Read more...] about Constitutional Guardians: The House of Lords