Parliament, Government and Secondary Legislation: Lords Select Committees respond to the Strathclyde Review

I wrote in December about the Strathclyde Review, which took place at great speed in the autumn against the backdrop of the House of Lords’ refusal to allow the enactment of secondary legislation on tax credits. The Review — set up by the Government — recommended stripping the Lords of its power to veto statutory… Continue reading Parliament, Government and Secondary Legislation: Lords Select Committees respond to the Strathclyde Review

The 2016 Sir David Williams Lecture: The Lion Beneath the Throne

On 4 March 2016, Sir Stephen Sedley delivered the 2016 Sir David Williams Lecture at the Faculty of Law in Cambridge. Sedley took as his title 'The Lion Beneath the Throne: Law as History'. The arguments he advanced were subtle and wide-ranging, and cannot be done justice in a short post. A key aspect of the position adopted in… Continue reading The 2016 Sir David Williams Lecture: The Lion Beneath the Throne

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

A postscript on the Evans case: The report of the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information and the Government’s response

The so-called black-spider memos written by Prince Charles to Government Ministers turned out to be rather more pedestrian than many had anticipated. But the judgment of the Supreme Court in R (Evans) v Attorney-General [2015] UKSC 21, handed down in March 2015, requiring the disclosure of the correspondence, was anything but pedestrian. Indeed, as I… Continue reading A postscript on the Evans case: The report of the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information and the Government’s response

Bell, Elliott, Varuhas and Murray (eds): Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance

In September 2014,together with my colleagues John Bell, Jason Varuhas and Philip Murray, I co-convened a conference in Cambridge on the subject of Process and Substance in Public Law—the first in a series of major international conferences on public law. Hart Publishing has now published Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance, a collection of… Continue reading Bell, Elliott, Varuhas and Murray (eds): Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance

Parliamentary sovereignty and European Union law: A short reading list

Now that the starting gun has been fired on the EU referendum campaign, the idea of parliamentary sovereignty—what it means, whether it is compatible with EU membership, and whether it can meaningfully be reasserted whilst the UK remains a member of the EU—is much discussed. I have written a number of blogposts over recent weeks and months,… Continue reading Parliamentary sovereignty and European Union law: A short reading list

Are the Conservatives still contemplating withdrawal from the ECHR?

I wrote a few days ago about the treatment of human-rights policy in the Conservative Party's 2015 election manifesto. In that post I noted that there was no mention of the radical plans set out in a paper published by the Party in late 2014. It envisaged radical changes in the relationship between the UK and the… Continue reading Are the Conservatives still contemplating withdrawal from the ECHR?

Proportionality and contextualism in common-law review: The Supreme Court’s judgment in Pham

  The recent decision of the UK Supreme Court in Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19 marks a turning-point in the role of proportionality as a common-law ground of judicial review. Although the case did not ultimately turn upon proportionality, the judgments contain detailed discussion of the doctrine, and evidence… Continue reading Proportionality and contextualism in common-law review: The Supreme Court’s judgment in Pham

Of Black Spiders and Constitutional Bedrock: The Supreme Court’s Judgment in Evans

The legal saga concerning the “black-spider memos” that Prince Charles is in the habit of sending to Ministers, inflicting upon them his often-eccentric views, is a long one. It has its origins in freedom-of-information requests issued to several Government departments by a Guardian journalist. Disclosure was sought of “advocacy correspondence” — that is, letters setting… Continue reading Of Black Spiders and Constitutional Bedrock: The Supreme Court’s Judgment in Evans