UK and European law

Whatever happened to Tory unionism?

When the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Theresa May was debated in the House of Commons many Conservative MPs argued that they could not vote for an arrangement that would treat Northern Ireland differently from Great Britain. The revised deal negotiated by Boris Johnson envisages far greater divergence within the UK, yet is far more popular among Conservatives. Jack Sheldon […]

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    The new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice within the UK

The new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice within the UK

The infamous ‘backstop’ is gone, but the new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union within the United Kingdom, writes Oliver Garner (British Institute of International and Comparative Law).

The new Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union differs from the previous […]

Only a ‘reverse Greenland’ for Northern Ireland can resolve Brexit

Given the impasse over the future of the Northern Ireland border, argues Solon Solomon (Brunel University), the only solution is to implement a ‘reverse Greenland’ – where Northern Ireland would remain part of the EU.

Boris Johnson recently tweeted a video of a baby making his first steps. He captioned it ‘Let’s get Brexit done’. Yet these baby steps post-Brexit […]

Boris Johnson’s alternative to the backstop explained

Since Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech, the position of the UK government has been that the UK should be outside the single market and the customs union after Brexit. At the same time, the UK government has committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement by not accepting any physical infrastructure at the Irish land border. As a result, the […]

Brexit is a chance to observe constitutional evolution in real time

To some, the UK’s unwritten constitution is an invitation to abuse, and Brexit has put it under strain. But Philip Allott (University of Cambridge) argues that its ability to evolve over centuries is a source of strength, and means that violent constitutional change is not necessary.

Three things can be said of all human societies, from the family to the […]

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    Will of the people vs democracy: Brexiteers are turning into their own worst enemy

Will of the people vs democracy: Brexiteers are turning into their own worst enemy

The ‘will of the people’ appears to have become a legitimating idea for the Johnson government to supersede representative democracy and the rule of law. Yet in giving the ‘will of the people’ such prominence, the Brexiteers have begun to behave just like their worst enemy, writes Pravar Petkar (LSE).

The Brexit negotiation has seen an array of constitutionally significant moments […]

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    The prorogation ruling has strengthened the political accountability of those in power

The prorogation ruling has strengthened the political accountability of those in power

Robert Brett Taylor (University of Aberdeen) examines the UK Supreme Court’s ruling on the prorogation case. He explains what it means for ministerial responsibility, constitutional conventions, and Parliament’s ability to politically check government. Political accountability has been strengthened, rather than weakened, by the Court’s decision, he argues.

On 24 September 2019, the UK Supreme Court handed down its judgment in Cherry/Miller (No.2).  […]

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    Permalink In the House of Lords, 10 September 2019. Photo: <a href=UK Parliament. Copyright House of Lords 2019 / Photography by Roger Harris." />Gallery

    The Supreme Court judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce

The Supreme Court judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce

The Miller2/Cherry case is not about judges seizing the policy agenda, whatever the critics of the outcome might say, writes Conor Gearty (LSE). In this decision the judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce. This Supreme Court decision is a telling illustration of why all populist authoritarians need to dismantle the independent judiciary.

In March 1954, that […]

The Supreme Court ruling: why the effects test could help save democracy (somewhat)

It is hard to overestimate the political as well as the legal implications of today’s ground-breaking Supreme Court ruling, writes Tarun Khaitan (University of Oxford). It applied an effects-based test to the case rather than trying to establish the purpose of Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament. In doing so it created a brand new and sophisticated ammunition in the […]

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    Let’s not divide the Supreme Court into Leavers and Remainers: the need for a better understanding of our judiciary has never been greater

Let’s not divide the Supreme Court into Leavers and Remainers: the need for a better understanding of our judiciary has never been greater

Judges sometimes disagree. What if the Supreme Court is split after this week’s appeal hearing on the prorogation of Parliament?  With 11 Supreme Court Justices sitting in this case, that could easily happen. Will Justices who find that the Prime Minister acted unlawfully in procuring the suspension of Parliament be labelled as ‘Remainers’ or even ‘Enemies of the People’, […]