As is well known, the Committee of Privileges is currently holding an inquiry into whether the Prime Minister committed a contempt of Parliament when addressing the House of Commons in relation to matters concerning ‘Partygate’. To a report published on 21 July, the Committee appended a memorandum from its legal adviser, Sir Ernest Ryder, concerning … Continue reading Legal opinion on the Privileges Committee’s ‘Partygate’ inquiry: Some comments
Category: Constitutional Law
Until indications emerged this morning that Boris Johnson accepted what everyone else had known for some time — namely, that his position as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister had become untenable — there was a good deal of talk about a ‘constitutional crisis’. But was there really such a crisis? And, relatedly, … Continue reading Boris Johnson’s resignation: Did the constitution work?
The British Government has announced its intention to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a new Bill of Rights. What will this mean for human rights protection in the UK? Some things are not changing. The UK will remain part of the European Convention on Human Rights. This has nothing to … Continue reading 1,000 words: The Bill of Rights
When the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) was introduced 25 years ago, it was accompanied by a White Paper that proclaimed the Act would ‘bring rights home’ by enabling the enforcement in UK courts of a suite of rights — set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) — that were at least … Continue reading The UK’s (new) Bill of Rights
Less than three years into his premiership, Boris Johnson will (presumably) soon be appointing his third Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests. Today, the most recent incumbent, Lord Geidt, resigned. In a resignation statement that was Delphic and succinct in equal measure, he said: ‘With regret, I feel that it is right that I am resigning … Continue reading On Lord Geidt’s resignation and its constitutional significance
Interviewed on LBC, Boris Johnson said that his Government was proposing to legislate in order to make ‘trivial’ changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol. In this post, I will explain what the planned legislation will do; why the changes are not ‘trivial’; why it is, in fact, legally impossible for the UK to make unilateral … Continue reading The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill
This post was first published on the Constitutional Law Matters website and is reposted here with permission. It forms part of a series of posts that Professor Alison Young and I are writing against the background of the Independent Human Rights Act Review and the Government consultation arising from it. The Constitutional Law Matters project … Continue reading The common law and the European Convention on Human Rights: Do we need both?
Today's Sunday Telegraph features an extraordinary interview with the UK Government's Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab. The report raises three issues of significant constitutional concern: that the Government may be contemplating further changes to judicial review in the light of recent judgments to which it takes exception; that the Government is considering undermining through domestic law … Continue reading Undermining the rule of law? A comment on the Justice Secretary’s Sunday Telegraph interview
By Mark Elliott and Nicholas Kilford In the Continuity Bill Reference, the Supreme Court advanced a striking analysis of the implications for devolution of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty — or, more specifically, of the provision in the Scotland Act 1998 that had hitherto been understood merely to affirm that doctrine. The provision in question … Continue reading Devolution in the Supreme Court: Legislative supremacy, Parliament’s ‘unqualified’ power, and ‘modifying’ the Scotland Act
It doesn’t seem (because it isn’t) very long since the UK Government planned to get Parliament to enact legislation that would have authorised Ministers to make regulations permitting parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol they don’t like to be breached. The Government sensibly dropped this idea in the end: the relevant provisions did not find … Continue reading Legal exceptionalism in British political discourse: International law, parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law