The Status Quo is Not an Option

Tuesday 8 October 2013, 6.30pm – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Panel: David Blunkett MP, Richard Gordon QC, Carol Harlow QC, Dr Lea Ypi
Host: Professor Conor Gearty

The UK has no constitution written down in one document. Instead it has laws, conventions, practices, activities scattered all over the place that constitutional lawyers gather together and describe as the UK constitution. In a unique project, LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and Department of Law are coming together with the LSE Public Policy Group and Democratic Audit to pioneer the crowdsourcing of a new UK constitution to ask members of the public to participate in, advise on and eventually to draft a new UK constitution. Join an expert panel to help to decide our principles and values.

David Blunkett
David Blunkett MP

David Blunkett is a British Labour Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, having represented Sheffield Brightside from 1987 to 2010. Blind since birth, and coming from a poor family in one of Sheffield’s most deprived districts, he rose to become Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary in Tony Blair’s Cabinet following Labour’s victory in the 1997 general election. He was promoted to become Home Secretary following the 2001 general election, a position he held until 2004.


Richard Gordon
Richard Gordon QC

Richard Gordon is a barrister at Brick Court Chambers and is widely recognised as one of the leading silks in Constitutional Law, Administrative and Public Law, and Human Rights/Civil Liberties. Increasingly, he is recommended in judicial review for EU and Competition Law cases. He is a Visiting Professor at University College London and Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong. In 2008 he was a Senior Visiting Fellow at Auckland and Melbourne Universities, and Visiting Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong 2008 – 2011.  He is the author of ‘Repairing British Politics: A Blueprint for Constitutional Change’ which presents key arguments for constitutional reform focused around a draft written Constitution underpinned by a new principle of constitutional supremacy.


Carol Harlow
Prof Carol Harlow QC

Carol Harlow is emeritus professor of law at LSE.  She is Queens Counsel (honoris causa) (1996); Fellow and Council Member of the British Academy (1999, 2004); Fellow of the London School of Economics (2005); Emeritus Member of Society of Legal Scholars (2005). She was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship in 2002.



Dr Lea Ypi
Dr Lea Ypi

Dr Lea Ypi is a Lecturer in Political Theory in the Government Department at LSE, and Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. Before joining LSE, she was a Post-doctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College (Oxford) and a researcher at the European University Institute where she obtained her PhD. A native of Albania, she studied Philosophy and then Literature at the University of Rome, La Sapienza. She is a co-editor of The Journal of Political Philosophy.

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