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After infantry National Service, Bob Morris studied History at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before becoming a Home Office career civil servant.
Over nearly 40 years, his work spanned the normal departmental duties of, for example, immigration, prisons, policing and public control and protection functions. He was also involved in legislation and state litigation, acting as private secretary to Home Secretaries and as a secretary to public inquiries - in Northern Ireland and on the UK prison services. One of his later Home Office posts had responsibility for the Home Secretary's then constitutional functions which included certain royal, ceremonial and ecclesiastical matters.
Following retirement, he acted as a locum Secretary for Public Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, and was secretary to the Hurd inquiry on the See of Canterbury and role of the Archbishop whose report – To Lead and to Serve – was published in 2001.
At the Unit, Bob has been involved with a variety of interests. Latterly he has tended to concentrate on ecclesiastical and royal issues, for example on the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, at the same time contributing to the study on Commons Public Bill Committees led by Meg Russell.
He is currently working with Professor Robert Hazell on a monarchy project focused on the condition of the European monarchies. The work has produced the Unit reports No 170 The Queen at 90: The Changing Role of the Monarchy, and Future Challenges, published 2016, plus No 180 Swearing in the New King: The Accession Declarations and Coronation Oaths, and No181 Inaugurating a New Reign: Planning the Accession and Coronation, the latter two both published May 2018. Following a March 2019 seminar, an edited book on the eight European monarchies - The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy – was published in September 2020.
(i) Books and Articles
- 'The Future of the Monarchy: The Reign of King Charles III' in Hazell R (ed.) (2008) Constitutional Futures Revisited: Britain's Constitution to 2020 (Palgrave), 139-155.
- Main author: Church and State in 21st Century Britain: The Future of Church Establishment (2009) (Palgrave)
- 'The Future of "High" Establishment' (2011) Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 260-273.
- 'Succession to the Crown Bill' (2013) Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 186-191.
- ‘Half-Opening Cans of Worms: The Present State of "High" Anglican Establishment', Law and Justice, No 172 (September 2014), 10-26.
- Editor, Reforming the Police in the Nineteenth Century, (2014) (Pickering and Chatto)
- ‘Preparing for the Next Coronation’, (2018) Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 328-335.
- ‘Co-editor with Robert Hazell: The role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy – European Monarchies Compared (2020) (Hart).
With Norman Bonney:
- 'Tuvalu and You: The Monarch, the United Kingdom and the Realms' (2012) Political Quarterly, 368-373.
- 'The Commonwealth in the Twenty-first Century' (2012) Political Insight, 26-29.
(ii) Book reviews
- Chapman M. et al (2011) The Established Church: Past, Present and Future (T. and T. Clark) Journal of Church and State (2012), 297-299.
- Rhodes R.A.W. Everyday Life in British Government, (OUP 2011) Public Law (2012), 584-588
- Horwitz P. The Agnostic Age: Law, Religion and the Constitution (New York, OUP 2011), Ecclesiastical Law Journal, Vol.16.2, May 2014.
- Little D. Essays on Religion and Human Rights: Ground to Stand On (CUP 2015), Ecclesiastical Law Journal, Vol 19.1, January 2017, 94-97.
Read Bob's blog posts:
The Crown: What does Netflix’s dramatisation and the celebritisation of an evolving monarchy mean for the royal family in 2018?