Constitutional Law: The Big Picture V — Lessons from EU Membership

So far in this series of posts and accompanying videos, I have introduced an overarching question about the nature of the UK constitution — and, in particular, about whether it is really as flexible as is commonly supposed — and have considered that question in relation to judicial review, the protection of human rights and… Continue reading Constitutional Law: The Big Picture V — Lessons from EU Membership

Constitutional Law: The Big Picture III — Human Rights

The first two pieces in this set of blogposts introduced the series of accompanying lectures and considered the role of judicial review. The overarching purpose of the series is to explore the nature of the United Kingdom’s constitution by asking whether it is better understood as ultimately malleable and flexible — such that a sovereign… Continue reading Constitutional Law: The Big Picture III — Human Rights

Judicial review reform IV: Culture war? Two visions of the UK constitution

This is the final in my series of four posts concerning the Report of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) and the Government’s Response to it. Focussing particularly on the direction of travel that is envisaged in the latter, I have addressed the potential implications for the doctrine of nullity, the efficacy of ouster clauses and the courts’… Continue reading Judicial review reform IV: Culture war? Two visions of the UK constitution

The UK constitution under pressure: A lost age of civility?

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 (constitutional) state we’re in: A week in British politics

If proof were needed that a week can be a long time in politics, one would need to look no further than the events of the last seven days in the UK. Three matters during the course of the last week have vividly illustrated — individually, but more importantly collectively — an increasingly clear narrative… Continue reading The (constitutional) state we’re in: A week in British politics

Brexit, the Executive and Parliament: A response to John Finnis

In a recent article in the Telegraph, Professor John Finnis advances two quite astonishing arguments. First, he advocates proroguing Parliament until after 12 April (the day on which the UK is scheduled to leave the EU) in order to ‘terminate parliamentary debate’ on Brexit. (Prorogation is the ending of a parliamentary session pending the next… Continue reading Brexit, the Executive and Parliament: A response to John Finnis

Extending Article 50: Separating myth and legal reality

There appears to be a degree of uncertainty about the legal position concerning the extension of Article 50. Confusion seems to have arisen thanks to a combination of the way in which the European Council structured its decision to grant an extension and failure to understand the distinction and relationship between relevant provisions of European… Continue reading Extending Article 50: Separating myth and legal reality

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement: Taking back “control of our laws”?

On its new "Brexit Facts" website, the UK Government takes issue with the claim that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement "would not give us back control of our laws". However, in disputing that claim, the Government makes some questionable assertions of its own

Sovereignty, Primacy and the Common Law Constitution: What has EU Membership Taught Us?

In a new paper, I explore what light has been shone on the UK constitution, and on the axiomatic principle of parliamentary sovereignty in particular, by EU membership — and what the post-Brexit constitutional legacy of that membership might be

1,000 words / The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 paves the way for Brexit by providing for the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 and converting EU law into UK law. This post summarises how the Act works and briefly considers some of the key constitutional issues that it raises.