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13 November: Do We Need a British Bill of Rights and a Written Constitution?

13 June 2007

Professor Richard Bellamy – UCL Political Science
It has become increasingly fashionable to argue that democracy in Britain isn’t working and that a written constitution and a bill of rights could be at least part of the answer. By contrast, this lecture argues that these are part of the problem and not the solution. Drawing on his recent books ‘Political Constitutionalism’ (2007) and ‘Citizenship’ (2008), Professor Bellamy will show how democratic processes are far more effective at delivering the constitutional goods of rights and the rule of law than courts and also have more legitimacy. Constitutions subvert those processes and contribute to popular disaffection with them, producing a decline in rights protection in the process.

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