Does the UK have a constitution?

At the 2021 Cambridge Sixth Form Law Conference, I gave a talk that explored the question: 'Does the UK have a constitution?' The question is worth asking — and attempting to answer — for at least a couple of reasons. First, the fact that the UK lacks a 'written constitution' not infrequently leads to the … Continue reading Does the UK have a constitution?

Legal kryptonite? Parliamentary sovereignty, international law and the Internal Market Bill

The following is a lightly edited version of a piece that was first published in the autumn/winter 2020 edition of Lauterpacht Centre News, the newsletter of the University of Cambridge's Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Lauterpacht Centre News can be downloaded via the Centre's website. Another autumn, another Brexit-related constitutional drama in the UK. A … Continue reading Legal kryptonite? Parliamentary sovereignty, international law and the Internal Market Bill

The Fundamentality of Rights at Common Law

I recently completed a paper, to be published in a forthcoming edited collection, on 'The Fundamentality of Rights at Common Law'. The concern of the paper is with the senses in, and the extent to, which common law constitutional rights can properly be regarded as fundamental. In the context of the United Kingdom’s constitution, that … Continue reading The Fundamentality of Rights at Common Law

House of Lords Constitution Committee reports on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties

By Mark Elliott and Stephen Tierney The topic of parliamentary scrutiny of the making of treaties could hardly be more topical, given the role that Parliament is currently playing in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement that the UK Government is seeking to enter into with the European Union. That role arises from section 13 of … Continue reading House of Lords Constitution Committee reports on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties

Letter to the Times: Response to Professor Brazier’s letter on Royal Assent

A number of colleagues and I wrote to The Times earlier this week on the subject of Royal Assent to legislation. The Times subsequently published a further letter on this topic by Professor Rodney Brazier. The following letter, published by the Times today, responds to Professor Brazier. Sir, Professor Brazier (‘Ministerial advice and the Queen’) … Continue reading Letter to the Times: Response to Professor Brazier’s letter on Royal Assent

House of Lords Constitution Committee takes evidence on ‘Great Repeal Bill’

On 1 February, the House of Lords Constitution Committee took evidence from Professors John Bell, Paul Craig and Alison Young on the likely constitutional implications of the 'Great Repeal Bill'. The 'Great Repeal Bill' is not to be confused with the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which is currently before Parliament. The latter Bill was introduced … Continue reading House of Lords Constitution Committee takes evidence on ‘Great Repeal Bill’

1,000 words / The Supreme Court’s Judgment in Miller

In this 1,000 words post I analyse and reflect upon the Supreme Court’s judgment in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5, in which it was held that the Government could not rely on prerogative power for the purpose of triggering the Brexit process.

The Government’s case in the Article 50 litigation: A critique

Thanks to a court order, the Government’s case — its “detailed grounds of resistance” — in the Article 50 litigation currently pending before the High Court has been published. I have written before on this matter, arguing that the better view is that legislation is not needed for the purpose of triggering Article 50, but … Continue reading The Government’s case in the Article 50 litigation: A critique

A constitutional court for the UK? My letter to The Times

In a leading article published on 3 February 2016, The Times offered its support to the notion of establishing a constitutional court for the UK—an idea floated, if only obliquely, by the Justice Secretary Michael Gove. The attraction of a constitutional court, said The Times, is that it would enable the UK to stand up for national values … Continue reading A constitutional court for the UK? My letter to The Times

Youssef: Another Supreme Court decision, another set of obiter dicta on substantive judicial review

Supreme Court judgments addressing—but not resolving—the future direction of substantive judicial review have been coming thick and fast in the last year or two. Notable examples include Kennedy v The Charity Commission [2014] UKSC 20 (on which I posted here), Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19 (blog post) and … Continue reading Youssef: Another Supreme Court decision, another set of obiter dicta on substantive judicial review