United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group

The United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group (UKCMG) comprises experts and practitioners covering a range of areas of the UK constitution. Its principal purpose is to assess developments – actual and anticipated – in the UK constitution.

Areas of interest include – but are not confined to – government accountability; arrangements for the upholding of the rule of law and individual rights; the territorial governance of the UK; and how the key aspects of such issues can be distilled and communicated to the public.

We evaluate proposals and initiatives through considering the analysis in which they are grounded, and how far they are likely to deliver the objectives claimed for them. We also identify and assess trends and events that are significant from a constitutional standpoint. To form a basis for its work, in the absence of a codified constitution for the UK, the UKCMG has identified a set of general and desirable guiding principles regarding the proper operation of the UK system of governance. The UKCMG is impartial and has no party affiliation.

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United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group

Statement of principles

To form a basis for this work, the UKCMG has identified a set of general and desirable guiding principles. They express what we believe to be core values underpinning the proper operation of the UK system of governance.

Current Membership

Professor Linda Colley

Professor Linda Colley

Linda Colley is Shelby M.C. Davies 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University and a Fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. She is an expert on British, imperial and global history since 1700 and has published several highly influential contributions to her field. Her works include Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (1992), which won the Wolfson Prize for History; and The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History (2007). She curated an exhibition at the British Library on the meanings of constitutional texts in 2008-9, and delivered a series of talks entitled Act of Union and Disunion for BBC Radio 4 ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. Her global study of constitution-writing: The Gun, the Ship and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World will appear in 2021. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded a C.B.E. in 2009.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd

Lord Thomas served as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales between 2013 and 2017. He was called to the Bar in 1969 and was a practising barrister until his appointment as a High Court judge in 1996. In 2003, he became a Lord Justice of Appeal, and was Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales until 2006 and President of the Queen’s Bench Division from 2011 to 2013. He was also President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary between 2008 and 2010, having participated in its founding. After retiring as Lord Chief Justice in 2017, he chaired the Welsh Government’s Commission on Justice in Wales which published its Report Justice in Wales for the People of Wales in 2019took up the Chancellorship of Aberystwyth University and the Presidency of the Qatar International Court. He is an active member of the House of Lords and sits currently on the Commons Frameworks Scrutiny Committee and is Chairman of the Consolidation Committee. He is also a founding member of the European Law Institute of which he is currently First Vice-President.

Professor Katy Hayward

Katy Hayward is Professor of Political Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast and a Senior Fellow of the ESRC-funded UK in a Changing Europe think tank. She is a leading expert on the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland, and has written extensively on the Irish border question and the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. She has given evidence to parliamentary committees in the UK, Ireland and the EU, and was appointed to the technical expert panel of the UK government’s Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group on Brexit in 2019. She appears regularly in the media and received a special Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for her use of Twitter (@hayward_katy) to explain the impact of Brexit on British-Irish and north/south relations. A member of the ‘Working Group on Unification Referendums on the island of Ireland’ (convened by the Constitution Unit at UCL), her book on the Irish border for the Sage series ‘What do we know and what should we do’ will be published in June 2021.

Professor Michael Kenny

Professor Michael Kenny

Michael Kenny is Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge and the inaugural Director of the Bennnett Institute for Public Policy, where he leads the place and public policy programme. He specialises in the territorial governance and constitutional future of the UK, as well as a range of related public policy questions. His 2014 book The Politics of English Nationhood was the winner of the UK Political Studies Association’s ‘Mackenzie’ prize. He has previously held positions at Queen’s University, Belfast; the University of Sheffield and Queen Mary University of London, where he was the inaugural Director of the Mile End Institute. He also served on the Leverhulme Trust’s Advisory Committee, co-directed the British Academy’s Governing England programme and is a Fellow of the Constitution Unit, UCL. He is currently writing a book about the UK’s constitutional futures.

Sir Thomas Legg

Sir Thomas Legg

Sir Thomas Legg served as the Permanent Secretary in the Lord Chancellor’s Department and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery between 1989 and 1998. He was called to the Bar in 1960 and began his career in the Lord Chancellor’s Department in 1962. After retiring from the civil service in 1998, he has led a number of high-profile inquiries for the government and served on various committees. These included the Sierra Leone Arms Investigation (1998), the Audit Commission (2005-11), and the MPs Expenses Review (2009-10). He has also served as Chairman of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the London Library. He was appointed QC in 1990 and was knighted (KCB) in 1993.

Sir Richard Mottram

Sir Richard Mottram

Sir Richard Mottram is a former senior civil servant, who led several government departments in the course of a lengthy career in public service between 1968 and 2007. From 1992-2007 he held Permanent Secretary appointments heading the Office of Public Service and Science in the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Department for Work and Pensions, and was, finally, Permanent Secretary Intelligence, Security and Resilience and Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee in the Cabinet Office. Since leaving the civil service he has held a number of Board-level appointments in the private, public and third sectors. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice in the LSE’s Department of Government.

Dr Hugh Rawlings

Dr Hugh Rawlings

Before his recent retirement, Dr Hugh Rawlings worked on devolution and related constitutional issues for more than twenty years. He held numerous senior civil service positions within the Welsh Government, most recently as Director of Constitutional Affairs and Inter-Governmental Relations. Before moving to the Welsh Office in 1988, he was a Lecturer in Law at Bristol University for 12 years. In 1997 he became Deputy Head of the Welsh Office Devolution Unit and oversaw the referendum and the legislation that created the National Assembly for Wales, as well as the first Assembly elections. He subsequently assumed responsibility within the Welsh Government for the operation of the devolution settlement for Wales, being centrally involved with the several Acts of Parliament reforming the settlement. He is an Honorary Professor at the Wales Governance Centre, and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Professor Petra Schleiter

Professor Petra Schleiter

Petra Schleiter is Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. She is the joint Head of Department and a Tutorial Fellow of St Hilda’s College. She specialises in comparative political institutions, political parties, attitudes and behaviour; and is an expert on semi-presidentialism, confidence procedures, fixed-term parliaments and flexible election timing. She is an Editor of the British Journal of Political Science and a member of the Management Board of the Blavatnik School of Government. Her work has been published in leading journals in the discipline including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, the British Journal of Political Science, Party Politics and elsewhere. She is also a Fellow of the Constitution Unit, UCL.

Professor Alison Young

Professor Alison Young

Alison Young is Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law at Cambridge, a Fellow of Robinson College and Director of the Centre for Public Law. She researches all aspects of UK and EU public law and is an expert in constitutional theory, specialising in particular in dialogue theory and human rights. Her published works include Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Human Rights Act (2009) and Democratic Dialogue and the Constitution (2017), the latter of which was funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship and was runner up for the Inner Temple Book Prize, 2018. She also co-edits the UK Constitutional Law Association blog, is a Trustee of The Constitution Society and is a member of the Editorial Board of European Public Law, and of Public Law.

Further information

The UKCMG is provided with administrative and research support by The Constitution Society.

For any enquiries related to the UKCMG please contact info@consoc.org.uk