The ConSoc website is our main educational resource. It provides a central reference point for information on constitutional affairs, drawing on multiple sources and providing additional, impartial commentary where necessary. As well as video interviews with politicians, lawyers and academics, the site contains detailed background information about major aspects of the British Constitution, accessible to users without existing knowledge.
- Promoting public debate
We stage occasional public debates on constitutional subjects of general interest. Recent topics have included reform of the voting system and proposals for an elected House of Lords.
- Independent Research
We conduct impartial research into areas of constitutional contention to help inform policy making and public debate. Our current research interests include the constitutional issues around Scottish independence, legal powers of Select Committees and the development of criteria to distinguish constitutional and ‘ordinary’ legislation.
- All-Party Parliamentary Group on the British Constitution
We provide organisational support for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the British Constitution, chaired by Lord Norton of Louth. The APPG works to broaden legislators’ knowledge base and improve the quality of debate on constitutional policy making. Recent meetings have focused on Scottish independence, the referendum on the Alternative Vote, fixed-term Parliaments, the European Union Bill, the Cabinet Manual and the impact of Lords reform on the House of Commons.
- Better Government Initiative
We provide The Better Government Initiative (BGI) with administrative and financial support. BGI is an independent, politically non-aligned organisation which works to improve legislative standards and the conduct of government. The members of BGI’s Organising Committee, chaired by Sir Christopher Foster, are distinguished former civil servants, including Lord Butler, the former Cabinet Secretary, Sir Thomas Legg, Sir Richard Mottram and Sir Nicholas Monck. Alongside many politicians and organisations, we support the recommendations of the BGI’s 2010 report on Good Government.
- Cambridge University Masters degree in Public Policy
In the long term, the quality of government in Britain can be improved by better education of those planning a career in politics, public administration or political journalism. We have provided Cambridge University with start-up funding to develop a Masters programme in Public Policy, which will launch in 2013.