Boris Johnson’s resignation: Did the constitution work?

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?

1,000 words: The Bill of Rights

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

The UK’s (new) 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

On Lord Geidt’s resignation and its constitutional significance

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

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill

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

The common law and the European Convention on Human Rights: Do we need both?

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?

Do we need a British Bill of Rights?

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 Do we need a British Bill of Rights?

Devolution in the Supreme Court: Legislative supremacy, Parliament’s ‘unqualified’ power, and ‘modifying’ the Scotland Act

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

Legal exceptionalism in British political discourse: International law, parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law

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

Constitutional Law: The Big Picture VI — Drawing Conclusions

In this series of posts and accompanying videos, I have considered how the UK constitution works by looking at a range of issues and attempting to draw connections between them, with a view to considering whether (and, if so, to what extent) the constitution functions satisfactorily. To the extent that it does, this is largely … Continue reading Constitutional Law: The Big Picture VI — Drawing Conclusions