In the first and second posts in this series on the Report of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) and the Government’s Response to it, I addressed questions surrounding the doctrine of nullity, potential changes to the effect of remedies and the Government’s wish to reinvigorate ouster clauses. All of those proposals are united by at least one … Continue reading Judicial review reform III: Substantive review and the courts’ constitutional role
In my first post on the Report of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) and the Government’s Response to it, I considered proposals concerning the status of unlawful administrative action and the limitation of the effect of remedies. I turn, in this second post in the series, to the matter of ouster clauses (on … Continue reading Judicial review reform II: Ouster clauses and the rule of law
This is the first in a series of four short posts reflecting on the Government’s response to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL). Although the Government set notably broad terms of reference for the Review (on which I commented here), the IRAL report itself is generally measured and eschews many of the far-reaching reform … Continue reading Judicial review reform I: Nullity, remedies and constitutional gaslighting
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?
I recently completed a paper examining the UK Supreme Court's judgment in the Miller II case, in which it was held that an attempt to prorogue the UK Parliament for period of several weeks in 2019 was unlawful. The following excerpt, drawn from the introduction to the article, gives a sense of the terrain that … Continue reading The Miller II Case in Legal and Political Context
When he was Theresa May’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson famously said, apropos of Brexit, that his ‘policy on cake’ was ‘pro having it and pro eating it’ — in other words, having the best of both worlds. Although the Prime Minister doubled down on that view yesterday, claiming that he had delivered the 'cakeist' fantasy … Continue reading The UK-EU Brexit Agreements and ‘sovereignty’: Having one’s cake and eating it?
The days of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 — adopted almost a decade ago as part of the Coalition Agreement between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties — appear to be numbered. The Government has published draft legislation to repeal the Act along with a statement of principles concerning the exercise of the prerogative power … Continue reading Repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act
Recently, I have been reflecting on the question: ‘Does the UK constitution still work?’ Of course, the question is value-laden. For one thing, it implicitly assumes that, whether or not it works now, the UK constitution at least once worked adequately — an assumption that is not universally shared. And buried within the question is … Continue reading The UK constitution under pressure: A lost age of civility?
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
In an earlier post and in evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee I have already drawn attention to concerns about the attempt in the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill to oust judicial review of regulations made under clauses 42 and 43 — the provisions that allow Ministers to breach the UK’s international obligations … Continue reading One step forward, two steps back? Judicial review and the Government’s amendments to the Internal Market Bill