In his resignation statement, David Cameron took it to be the case that triggering the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is a matter for the Prime Minister (or, more specifically, the next Prime Minister). Article 50, about which I have written in another post, provides that… Continue reading On why, as a matter of law, triggering Article 50 does not require Parliament to legislate
There has been a great deal of discussion over the last couple of days about whether the European Union can force the United Kingdom to begin the two-year exit process set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. So: can the EU make the UK do that? The short answer is "no".… Continue reading Can the EU force the UK to trigger the two-year Brexit process?
The Prime Minister’s failure to secure a vote in favour of continued EU membership raises obvious questions about both his future and his Government’s. Can the Prime Minister be changed without a general election? And in what circumstances would an early election be possible? Changing the Prime Minister independently of a general election is a… Continue reading A new Prime Minister, or a snap election?
Roughly half of the country is reeling this morning from the news that the people of United Kingdom have voted — by a narrow but clear majority — to leave the European Union. There is a great deal to be said about what might happen next, and I expect to post regularly as events unfold… Continue reading Brexit: Legally and constitutionally, what now?
The following article was published — on the day of the UK's EU referendum — in German in the print and online editions of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. It is reproduced here in English, in a lightly amended form, with permission.
This year’s Queen’s Speech touches on two possible constitutional reform measures. (I pass over the Wales Bill, which was published in draft in October 2015.) The first concerns the replacement of the Human Rights Act 1998 with a “British Bill of Rights”, while second concerns the sovereignty of Parliament and the "primacy" of the House… Continue reading The 2016 Queen’s Speech and the Constitution
The Judicial Power Project has published a list of 50 “problematic” cases. It makes for interesting reading. The aim of the Judicial Power Project is to address the “problem” of “judicial overreach” which, it is said, “increasingly threatens the rule of law and effective, democratic government”. It is odd, therefore, to find on Judicial Power’s… Continue reading Judicial Power’s 50 “problematic” cases and the limits of the judicial role
Theresa May argues that the UK should remain in the EU but withdraw from the ECHR. Her thinking may be politically comprehensible, but does it stack up in legal or constitutional terms?
I wrote in December about what might loosely be termed the “makes no difference” principle introduced by section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which inserts new provisions into section 31 of the Senior Courts Act 1981. The effect is that in judicial review proceedings the High Court must refuse relief if it… Continue reading The duty to give reasons and the new statutory “makes no difference” principle
I wrote earlier this week about Lord Judge’s recent lecture on Henry VIII powers — that is, powers conferred on the executive to amend or repeal provisions in Acts of Parliament — and parliamentary sovereignty. This post briefly raises two points by way of follow-up. How many Henry VIII powers? No idea, says the Government… Continue reading Henry VIII powers: A follow-up post