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Public Appointments: should Ministers have more control?

Earlier this year the Government published Sir Gerry Grimstone's report on public appointments proposing major changes to the way in which Ministerial appointments to public bodies are regulated. Sir David Normington, the former Commissioner for Public Appointments and an outspoken critic of the proposals, will review the arguments for and against giving Ministers more control over public appointments. He will discuss the background to the report, explain why, in his view, it represents a step in the wrong direction and examine what has happened since the report was published.


Starts: Dec 8, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Brexit in the Supreme Court

This is the constitutional case of the century. Two sets of appeals come together, Miller from London and McCord from Belfast.  If the Supreme Court upholds the High Court decision in Miller, the government will have to introduce legislation at Westminster before it can trigger Article 50.  If the Supreme Court upholds the arguments of the claimants in McCord, it may have to obtain legislative consent from Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff as well; which could torpedo the timetable, and rekindle demands for Scottish independence.  

Starts: Jan 16, 2017 1:00:00 PM

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The role of referendums in the UK: the question of information

Tuesday, 06 December 2016

On 22 November the Constitution Unit and the Committee on Standards in Public Life hosted a joint seminar on ‘The Role of Referendums in the UK’. Bringing together eminent speakers from across academia, the media, government, and elsewhere, the seminar examined possible problems with the conduct of referendums in the UK, focusing particularly on two […]

Brexit in the Supreme Court, and after: your questions answered

Monday, 05 December 2016

The Supreme Court will be the centre of political attention this week when the government’s appeal of last month’s High Court ruling on the triggering of Article 50 is heard. Robert Hazell and Harmish Mehta offer an overview of what the case is about, the likely outcome and its implications for the Brexit timetable. The Brexit […]

We must address the House of Lords’ size, for the good of parliament

Sunday, 04 December 2016

Tomorrow the House of Lords will debate its size, which is widely criticised for having grown by almost 200 since the removal of most hereditary peers in 1999. In this post former Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza argues that change is urgently required to contain the number of peers, including placing limits on the Prime Minister’s […]

Negotiating Brexit in a devolved state: the dynamics of intergovernmental relations

Thursday, 01 December 2016

Theresa May has repeatedly declared her commitment to involving the devolved governments in the Brexit process. In this post, Nicola McEwen discusses the likely dynamics of Brexit negotiations between the UK’s four governments. She argues that if the intergovernmental process fails to give a meaningful voice to the devolved governments this could have serious and long-lasting repercussions for territorial politics across the UK. […]

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