Devolution

Reporting the divide? The media and the constitutional debate in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s political dynamics have always been some of the most turbulent inthe United Kingdom. Much of the division and disruption comes from the divide thatexists on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. Should it continue as part … [Read more...] about Reporting the divide? The media and the constitutional debate in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland and its (other) constitutional issues

Traditionally in Northern Ireland (or NI) mention of constitutional change has meant only one thing: United Kingdom (UK) vs United Ireland (UI). Known simply as ‘the constitutional question’, the issue to which this juxtaposition points – … [Read more...] about Northern Ireland and its (other) constitutional issues

Inter-institutional partnership: the Senedd and the Welsh Government

In this blog I examine the formal mechanisms governing relations between the Senedd and the Welsh Government. I begin with a brief overview that explains how the Welsh institutions have developed since 1999. Then I consider developments in the most … [Read more...] about Inter-institutional partnership: the Senedd and the Welsh Government

More Bonaparte than Bagehot 

Review of Richard Johnson and Yuan Yi Zhu, Sceptical Perspectives on the Changing Constitution of the United Kingdom (Bloomsbury, 2023) It is by now a truism that the Brexit referendum of 2016 brought constitutional issues to the fore of … [Read more...] about More Bonaparte than Bagehot 

Renewing Intergovernmental Relations: The Case for Reform

The four constituent nations of the United Kingdom exist within a unitary state which is not underpinned by the transparent checks and balances of a formal written constitution. Many are appalled when they realise that the UK’s uncodified … [Read more...] about Renewing Intergovernmental Relations: The Case for Reform

Devolution and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: a stuttering failure?

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the momentous Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA) that – among other things – helped to bring to a close the violence of “The Troubles” and established a series of new, interlocking institutions to govern … [Read more...] about Devolution and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: a stuttering failure?

Conference review – A crisis in UK democracy?

In 1647 the Putney Debates brought people together to discuss the future of democracy following the victory of the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. On 24th March 2023, The Constitution Society brought together academics and constitutional … [Read more...] about Conference review – A crisis in UK democracy?

Post-Brexit Britain needs an ambitious Bill of Rights rooted in integrity and purpose

When I was commissioned by The Constitution Society in July 2022 to write a report on the UK Government’s proposed ‘Modern’ Bill of Rights Bill, I would not have anticipated that by January 2023 the Bill would have been shelved under a new Prime … [Read more...] about Post-Brexit Britain needs an ambitious Bill of Rights rooted in integrity and purpose

Constitutional change is unfinished business in the UK

Some believe that discussion of constitutional matters amounts to little more than a diversion from people’s real concerns, such as the cost-of-living crisis, jobs and the parlous state of the health service. However, it is misleading to suggest … [Read more...] about Constitutional change is unfinished business in the UK