Evidence from The Constitution Society published by House of Lords select committee inquiry into ‘The Union and Devolution’

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has recently published evidence submitted by The Constitution Society, as part of its inquiry into ‘The Union and Devolution.’

The published evidence can be viewed online here.

A full list of evidence published by the select committee as part of this inquiry can be viewed here. 

17th October 2015

Footage of Shadow Chancellor referring to our report in Parliament

As previously reported the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls MP, referred to our groundbreaking report; ‘Select Committees and Coercive Powers – Clarity or Confusion?’ written by Richard Gordon QC and Amy Street. Below is footage from the Parliamentary debate on ‘Professional Standards in the Banking Industry’ in which Mr. Balls cited our ‘very important’ report while calling for a judge-led inquiry into Libor rate-fixing scandal.


Clerk of the Commons hails our select committees report

Robert Rogers, Clerk of the Commons, has published a new paper on the powers of select committees. Much of what he writes agrees with the key points of our own report, Select Committees and Coercive Powers – Clarity or Confusion a copy of which can be downloaded here.

Mr Rogers says of our report, “…The Constitution Society’s recent study by Robert Gordon QC and Amy Street, [is] one of the best considerations of the issues I have seen.” This follows on from its citation in the Commons by the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, who described the report as “very important”.

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Ed Balls references our “very important” Power of Select Committees Report amidst Libor scandal

In a Parliamentary session on standards in the banking industry the Shadow Chancellor, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, called for a judge-led inquiry into the Libor rate-fixing scandal citing The Constitution Society’s groundbreaking research into the power of Select Committees. 

Highlighting some of the key findings of report authors, Richard Gordon QC and Amy Street, the Shadow Chancellor said:

“We should consider the recent experience of the phone hacking scandal and all the deliberations we see in, for example, the very important report on the details and reality of Select Committees and coercive powers, entitled “Select Committees and Coercive Powers—Clarity or Confusion?”, from The Constitution Society.”

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Our Director, Nat le Roux, gives evidence to PCRC

Following The Constitution Society’s submission of written evidence (which can be found here) to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s inquiry into ‘Ensuring standards in the quality of legislation’; Nat le Roux, Director of The Constitution Society, was invited to give oral evidence on the 21st of June. He appeared alongside Lord Butler and Sir Nicholas Monck who served as representatives of the Better Government Initiative.

Below is a video of Nat attending the oral evidence session before the Committee.

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Select Committees Parliamentary Launch

Following The Constitution Society’s successful Parliamentary launch event held on the 13th June we are pleased to be able to share videos of the key speakers. The large audience was made up of MPs, Peers, clerks, academics and journalists and the event was chaired by Nat Le Roux, Director of The Constitution Society. Questions following the panel speeches were ‘off the record’ and so are not recorded. 

Richard Gordon QC is an eminent constitutional lawyer and Co-Author of the report ‘Select Committees and Coercive Powers – Clarity or Confusion?’ He makes the opening speech, introduces the report and gives a short overview of the key issues raised by it.


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The Constitution Society launches new report: Select Committees and Coercive Powers – Clarity or Confusion?

The Constitution Society is pleased to announce the publication of a landmark Report that it has commissioned on the coercive powers of select committees.

Co-authored by eminent constitutional lawyers, Richard Gordon QC and Amy Street, the Report offers a balanced and neutral investigation into what coercive powers select committees have and what the options might be for change.

In the light of the phone-hacking scandal and the high profile appearances before select committees of the Murdochs and others this is a timely and important intervention.

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The Constitution Society submits evidence on the quality of legislation

The Constitution Society is happy to announce that our evidence to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee on the
subject of ‘Ensuring Standards in the Quality of Legislation’ has been submitted. 

The evidence highlights the large amounts of low quality legislation and calls for the introduction of new Parliamentary processes to mitigate against political pressures to pass ill-thought out laws. The Constitution Society welcomes the idea of a ‘Legislative Standards Committee’  to review draft legislation and check:

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Joint Committee publishes its report on House of Lords Reform

The Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill published its report today.

Amongst its main recommendations are:

  • An 80% elected chamber by STV with 20% nominated for expertise
  • 450 member strong House to provide an adequate pool to scrutinise legislation
  • 15 year non-renewable terms for members
  • A referendum to decide if members of the House of Lords are to be elected

PCRC Launches New Inquiry

Yesterday the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee announced the launch of a new inquiry into whether the United Kingdom needs a constitutional convention. The inquiry will seek to look at how such a convention could allow discussion and debate on the future of the Union as a whole rather than doing so via a focus on specific issues or constituent nations.  

The Constitution Society welcomes this inquiry as an opportunity to establish a credible discussion on the constitutional future of the UK. To read more about this interesting development and have your own input into a potential convention’s establishment click here.