Judicial Review Launch – watch the video online

The launch of The Constitution Society’s latest paper, Judicial Review and the Rule of Law: Who is in Control? at the British Academy is now available to watch online. 

Our Research Director and author of the report, Amy Street, was joined by Bill Cash MP, Sir Konrad Schiemann and Richard Gordon QC as they discussed the important topic of judicial review and the relationship between the concepts of the Rule of Law and Parliamentary Supremacy. The event was chaired by Nat le Roux, Director of The Constitution Society.

The panel discussion can be viewed here.

3rd January 2014

Judicial Review paper online

The Constitution Society’s latest paper, Judicial Review and the Rule of Law: Who is in control? is now available online.

Judicial review faces an uncertain future. The government’s proposed reforms in this area – not least, restricting who may bring a claim – are attracting controversy.

This report takes a step back from the heat of that debate to illuminate the broader picture from a constitutional perspective. What are the constitutional implications of attempts by the executive to limit the ability of individuals or organisations to challenge its decisions – and the power of the courts to rule on the lawfulness of its actions?

What is the impact on the rule of law and the relationship between institutions of state? What are the potential consequences of altering the constitutional balance between our judges and Parliament? And why is this issue so important to the government, to Parliament and to lawyers? 

9th December 2013

Judicial Review: a new report from The Constitution Society

The Constitution Society is pleased to announce the launch of a paper on the important topic of judicial review. Authored by Amy Street, previously a co-author of Select Committees and Coercive Powers – Clarity or Confusion? our new pamphlet will be a timely intervention in an area of increasing political salience.

To mark the launch of the paper a panel discussion is being held at the British Academy on 19th November from 6pm. Amy Street will be joined by Richard Gordon QC, Sir Konrad Schiemann and Graham Allen MP (Chair of the Political and Constitutional Committee).

Hard copies of the pamphlet will be available on the evening and a PDF will be on this website following the launch.

If you wish to attend the event please email our events team via events@constitutionsoc.org.uk 

 

7th November 2013

Judges, Politicians and the Contested Constitution

By Aidan O'Neill QC

Judges, Politicians and the Contested Constitution

Conrad Russell once observed that the essential problem of the relationship between Scotland and England “could be defined by saying that England could brook no equal, and Scotland no superior.” Read more ›

Fresh battle looms between European human rights court and UK

Prosecutors could be forced to stop using evidence from victims and witnesses who do not attend court in another human rights battle between Britain and Europe. The case is the first significant clash between European judges and the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court, over who should dictate domestic law.

Read it at The Telegraph ›

14th December 2011

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ARCHIVE: On whether or not to repeal; a briefing on the debate surrounding the Human Rights Act and a UK Bill of Rights

[First Published on Tuesday 4th October 2011]

The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.

This week, as senior politicians from both sides of the coalition express differences of opinion regarding the future of the 1998 Human Rights Act and the prospect of a new UK Bill of Rights, we present some of the best recent writing on the issue as well as some useful background information.

Read more ›

ARCHIVE: The Cabinet Manual; controversy over codification

[First Published on Tuesday 21st December 2010]

The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.

Published last week by the head of the civil service, the Draft Cabinet Manual  is the UK’s first comprehensive guide to the functioning of the Executive; “a guide to the whole business of government seen from the perspective of the executive branch”.

Drawing together various existing pieces of guidance for ministerial behaviour, the Manual has been heralded by many as the first step towards a written constitution.  Others criticise the document as a power grab by its civil servant drafters.  The Constitution Society put these issues to the experts.

Read more ›

ARCHIVE: Experts join calls for joined-up thinking in the scramble for constitutional reform

[First Published on Saturday 24th July 2001]

The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.

Thursday 10th July saw yet another call for some joined up thinking and a holistic approach to issues relating to the British constitution. “Towards a codified constitution”, a paper published by JUSTICE and written by a group of constitutional experts led by Stephen Hockman QC and Vernon Bogdanor, contends that since 1997 we have been through a period of profound constitutional change without it being wholly clear what the British constitution actually is. During that period we have, in a piecemeal and unplanned way, been codifying the constitution. (Gus O’Donnell’s Cabinet Manual is a case in point.)

Read more ›

ARCHIVE: Libel judge defends privacy law

[First Published on Monday 15th March 2010]

The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.

The controversial libel judge at the centre of a storm over the development of privacy law in the UK has hit back at his tabloid critics. Justice Eady, who rose to notoriety after punishing the News of the World for publishing intimate photos of Formula 1 boss Max Mosely’s private life, accused tabloids of having a vested interest in stunting privacy for financial gain. 

He also warned that in relation to the ruling that “it is wise to guard against the drawing of general conclusions from the specific findings in one case”. 

The judge, speaking at the inaugural lecture of the Centre for Justice, Law and Journalism at City University also noted that the Guardian was yet to be sued in a privacy case despite doing investigative journalism. He insisted that judges are not responsible for creating privacy law out of thin air but are just interpreting the Human Rights Act as approved by parliament.

Read more ›

12th January 2001

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ARCHIVE: Better Government Initiative

[First Published on Monday 1st February 2010]

The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.

On 27th January, the Better Government Initiative published a 56 page report – “Good Government – Reforming Parliament and the Executive”. Written by 14 former senior civil servants, including Lord Butler and Sir John Chilcot, the report concludes that reform of our governance is urgent. The report addresses what has gone wrong and sets out 39 recommendations for change, ranging from better and evidence based policy formation, less legislation, clarity around the duties of ministers and the re-establishment of the role of the civil service which has been damaged in recent years by the growth of special advisers and civil servants. Click here to access a full copy of the report.