Clauses 1 and 2 of the Scotland Bill: Government Response to House of Lords Constitution Committee

I have written in previous posts about the Scotland Bill and, in particular, the possible constitutional implications—including for the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty—of clauses 1 and 2 of the Bill, which respectively concern the ‘permanence’ of the Scottish Parliament and Government and the Sewel Convention. As noted in a previous post, the House of Lords… Continue reading Clauses 1 and 2 of the Scotland Bill: Government Response to House of Lords Constitution Committee

The House of Lords and secondary legislation: Some initial thoughts on the Strathclyde Review

The Strathclyde Review, which was prompted by the House of Lords’ opposition to secondary legislation on tax credits, has been published. Its recommendation is straightforward: that the House of Lords’ powers in respect of statutory instruments (which is the form taken by the majority of secondary legislation) should be brought broadly into line with its powers, under… Continue reading The House of Lords and secondary legislation: Some initial thoughts on the Strathclyde Review

Declarations, quashing orders and declaratory judgments: The Hawke case and section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

Under Chris Grayling’s stewardship of the Ministry of Justice, the view took hold—ample evidence to the contrary notwithstanding—that too many claims for judicial review were being initiated, and that judicial review was being used abusively for ‘political’ purposes. One of the ill-conceived ideas that grew out of this unfounded notion was that courts should be required… Continue reading Declarations, quashing orders and declaratory judgments: The Hawke case and section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

Ekins and Forsyth on Evans: A Brief Response

As part of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, Richard Ekins and Christopher Forsyth have published a trenchant critique of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Evans, concerning the lawfulness of the Government’s decision to veto disclosure of Prince Charles’s correspondence with Ministers under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I published my own analysis of Evans… Continue reading Ekins and Forsyth on Evans: A Brief Response

The UK Supreme Court as a constitutional ‘longstop’: Michael Gove’s evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee

The Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, gave evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee earlier today. In this brief post, I pick up on just one of the issues raised by his evidence, namely the notion that the UK Supreme Court might be made, by a British Bill of Rights, into what… Continue reading The UK Supreme Court as a constitutional ‘longstop’: Michael Gove’s evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee

Public Law Conference 2016: Call for Abstracts

The second Cambridge Public Law Conference—which I am convening with John Bell, Jason Varuhas and Shona Wilson Stark—is to be held in September 2016. The theme of the conference is to be: The Unity of Public Law? We are delighted to have assembled an outstanding line-up of keynote speakers, including: Prof TRS Allan (Cambridge) Prof Johannes Chan… Continue reading Public Law Conference 2016: Call for Abstracts

The ‘permanence’ of the Scottish Parliament and the Sewel Convention: The House of Lords Constitution Committee’s Report on the Scotland Bill

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has issued its report on the Scotland Bill. I have written before on this blog about the Draft Clauses of the Scotland Bill that were published earlier this year, drawing particular attention to Draft Clauses 1 and 2 concerning the 'permanence' of the Scottish Parliament and the recognition in… Continue reading The ‘permanence’ of the Scottish Parliament and the Sewel Convention: The House of Lords Constitution Committee’s Report on the Scotland Bill

Q: How many Supreme Court Justices does it take to perform the Wednesbury doctrine’s burial rites? A: More than five

Twelve years ago, the Court of Appeal said—in R (Association of British Civilian Internees (Far East Region)) v Secretary of State for Defence [2003] EWCA Civ 473—that, given its perceived deficiencies when viewed alongside the proportionality doctrine, it was difficult to see ‘what justification there now is for retaining the Wednesbury test’. However, said the… Continue reading Q: How many Supreme Court Justices does it take to perform the Wednesbury doctrine’s burial rites? A: More than five

Public Law Update #1: Scotland and the Future of the Union

This post is the first in a series of six updates for the 2015-16 academic year. The posts in this series are co-written by Mark Elliott and Robert Thomas, the authors of Public Law, published by Oxford University Press. Further information about Public Law can be found here. Our focus in these updates is on six key areas in which the constitution is… Continue reading Public Law Update #1: Scotland and the Future of the Union