Introduction In late 2023, the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) handed down their judgment in the case of R (SAA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. In a unanimous judgment, the UKSC held that the Home Secretary’s policy that certain people … [Read more...] about The Rwanda bill: A constitutional tipping point?
Last month, Rishi Sunak’s decision to conduct airstrikes against the Houthis in Yemen sparked significant debate – not only about the merits of such actions, but also about their constitutionality. Several opposition politicians – including Scottish … [Read more...] about Towards the codification of war powers?
This blog post provides an update on delegated powers over the parliamentary session 2022-2023. I summarise the concerns of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, which is a House of Lords committee that holds the Government … [Read more...] about Baby Steps? Government Action on Delegated Powers
On 27 October 2023 the controversial Online Safety Bill received Royal Assent and was enacted into law. The Online Safety Act 2023 (OSA), which the Government claims will make the UK the ‘safest place in the world to be online’, … [Read more...] about The Online Safety Act: scrutiny, safeguards and civil liberties
On 23 March 2020, during a televised broadcast to the nation, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s intention to impose an immediate ‘stay at home’ order on the entirety of the UK. During the broadcast it was made clear that these new … [Read more...] about The Dangers of Governance by Guidance
Over the past few years growing concerns have been expressed about weaknesses in the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements. In response to the upheavals generated by Brexit, the draconian measures necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic and … [Read more...] about Two Approaches to Constitutional Vulnerability
The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act 2023 (TANZ Act) is the only piece of primary legislation implementing the UK’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand. It consists solely of a delegation of power to implement … [Read more...] about The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act: a slippery slope for scrutiny
What to say about the UK's whipping system, apart from the fact that one of Boris Johnson's former aides has just made it the subject of what the Guardian describes as a 'Jilly Cooper-esque satire'? My research for the Constitution … [Read more...] about Cracking the whip: the UK’s party control system
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
Little is ever said or known about the most populous group in parliament, the Members’ staff. Though we are an overwhelming majority in Parliament, not much is understood about our role in the wider political arena. The reason for this is that it’s … [Read more...] about MPs’ offices are at capacity
Plunging into the pond of parliamentary hierarchy, looking for loci of power, one discovers an extraordinary system. On examination it appears to be constructed of bullying, blackmail and bribery. Some of our elected representatives are, it seems, … [Read more...] about “Almost never discussed”: inside the UK whipping system
This summer the Prime Minister has received a good deal of criticism for his many holidays. In a recent interview with the BBC, Keir Starmer was forced to defend his decision to take a short holiday with his family. The Labour Party … [Read more...] about The summer recess