Parliament

The Rwanda bill: A constitutional tipping point? 

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? 

Towards the codification of war powers?

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?

The Online Safety Act: scrutiny, safeguards and civil liberties 

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 

The Dangers of Governance by Guidance

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

Two Approaches to Constitutional Vulnerability

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: a slippery slope for scrutiny 

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 

Cracking the whip: the UK’s party control system

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

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 

“Almost never discussed”: inside the UK whipping system

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