The Conservative Party Manifesto and the Constitution

The Conservative Party — which, barring an electoral surprise that would make the election of Donald Trump look pedestrian, will form the next UK administration — has published its manifesto. What does it reveal about the constitutional aspects of the party’s programme for government?

The new Justice Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, on a British Bill of Rights

The new Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, gave evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee earlier this week. She was questioned on a range of matters, including the Government’s long-awaited proposals for replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights. Truss’s answers to the Committee’s questions on this

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Ali v United Kingdom: Article 6(1) ECHR and administrative decision-making

To say that the extent to which Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights applies to administrative decision-making is a vexed issue would be something of an understatement. That it is such a problematic area is thanks in large part to the somewhat chaotic case law of the Strasbourg Court in this area.

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Philippe Sands’ Elson Lecture: Britain, Europe and Human Rights

I briefly wrote yesterday about John Finnis’ recent lecture on judicial power. Although Finnis examines his topic through a lens that takes in far more than simply questions about human-rights protection, some of his fire is trained upon the European Convention on Human Rights and what it requires, or has been understood to require, courts

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Public Law Update #6: A British Bill of Rights?

This post is the last 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 undergoing, or

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Michael Gove, the Justice Committee and the Human Rights Act

The new Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove, gave evidence for the first time today to the House of Commons Justice Committee. We learned a little, but not a great deal, about the Government’s current thinking in relation to the replacement of the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights. However,

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Why a Sovereignty Act makes no legal sense

The notion that concerns (rooted in Euroscepticism) about sovereignty can be addressed by means of legislation asserting the sovereignty of the UK Parliament appear to be gaining increasing traction. In a debate in the House of Commons 3 February 2016, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that although the sovereignty of Parliament was already assured, it

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What does a Conservative government mean for the future of human rights in the UK?

It seems that the Conservative Party is on its way to forming an expectation-defying single-party government — which makes its plans for human-rights reform suddenly more relevant than they seemed a couple of days ago. What is clear — it is explicitly stated in the manifesto — is that the Conservative Party wishes to see

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Beyond the European Convention: Human Rights and the Common Law

I gave a Current Legal Problems lecture in March concerning the relationship between common-law constitutional rights and the system of rights protection that obtains under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. I have now finished work on the article version of the lecture. The full text of the article

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