European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Report of House of Lords Constitution Committee

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has published a report on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill, which is presently being considered by the House of Lords, was introduced into Parliament in the wake of 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 legislation was needed before the initiation of the process whereby the UK will withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The Bill, as presently drafted, authorises the Prime Minister to invoke … Continue reading European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Report of House of Lords Constitution Committee

The ‘Three Knights Opinion’ on Brexit: A response

Bindmans LLP have published a fascinating opinion which argues that the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill that is presently before Parliament does not authorise Brexit, and that a further Act of Parliament will be required if Brexit is to occur in a way that is lawful as a matter of UK law. The opinion is written by Sir David Edward KCMG PC QC, Sir Francis Jacobs KCMG PC QC, Sir Jeremy Lever KCMG QC, Helen Mountfield QC and Gerry Facenna QC. The authors of what Bindmans have dubbed the ‘Three Knights Opinion’ — including those who are not knights — are leading authorities … Continue reading The ‘Three Knights Opinion’ on Brexit: A response

Distinguishing Anisminic? Ouster clauses, parliamentary sovereignty and the Privacy International case

Senior judges occasionally find it hard to resist the temptation to speculate about whether parliamentary sovereignty is ‘absolute’ — which, of course, amounts to speculating about whether Parliament is really sovereign at all. One of the principal triggers for such speculation is the question whether Parliament is capable of ousting the courts’ judicial review jurisdiction. Perhaps most notable in this regard is Lady Hale’s speech in R (Jackson) v Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56, delivered not long after the Government, yielding to intense criticism, removed an ouster clause from what became the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act … Continue reading Distinguishing Anisminic? Ouster clauses, parliamentary sovereignty and the Privacy International case

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 into Parliament in response to the UK Supreme Court’s judgment in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5, which held that the process under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, whereby the UK will withdraw from the EU, cannot … Continue reading House of Lords Constitution Committee takes evidence on ‘Great Repeal Bill’

Article for Counsel magazine: Miller and the modern British constitution

This article reflects on the key constitutional issues raised by the judgment of the UK Supreme Court in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5. It is available on Counsel magazine’s website and was published in the March 2017 print edition of Counsel. The article is republished here with permission. There are few aspects of the modern British constitution that the Supreme Court’s judgment in Miller does not at least engage. Among others, it raises questions about the nature of parliamentary sovereignty, the extent of the executive’s prerogative authority, the status within the domestic legal system of European … Continue reading Article for Counsel magazine: Miller and the modern British constitution

Analysis The Supreme Court’s Judgment in Miller

In this 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. A shorter post, setting out the key aspects of the majority and dissenting judgments, can be found here. On 24 January 2017, the UK Supreme Court gave judgment in the Miller case, in which the Government sought to establish that it could initiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without reference to Parliament. The Supreme Court also considered whether the UK’s devolution arrangements impacted upon the Government’s capacity to trigger Article 50 of … Continue reading Analysis The Supreme Court’s Judgment in Miller

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

In this 1,000 words post I explain the key points decided by the UK Supreme Court in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5. I have written a separate, longer, post in which I analyse the case in depth; that post can be found here. In its judgment in Miller, the Supreme Court reached two key conclusions: that an Act of Parliament is needed before Brexit can be triggered, and that the law does not enable devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to block Brexit. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union … Continue reading 1,000 words The Supreme Court’s Judgment in Miller