The Constitution Unit


Conference on Johnson’s Constitutional Reform Agenda

17 June 2021–18 June 2021, 9:30 am–1:00 pm

Houses of parliament under scaffolding

The government had a wide ranging agenda for constitutional reforms on page 48 of its 2019 election manifesto. This conference, co-organised by the Constitution Unit, the Department of Politics & International Relations at the University of Oxford and UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE), brings together politicians, policy makers and academic experts to discuss the government’s progress so far, and what lies ahead.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Rachel Cronkshaw

After two years in power, how much of its constitutional reform agenda has the current government achieved? What remains to be done? What further constitutional change can be expected - whether part of the government’s agenda or not? 

Over two half-days, this conference brings together a diverse range of speakers to discuss the biggest constitutional and democratic issues from judicial review to elections and referendums, from the review of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act to devolution and the future of the union.

This event will be held via Zoom webinar. If you are unable to join for the full conference, you are welcome to dip in to specific sessions.


Day 1 - Thursday 17 June

9.30Keynote speech: Overview of the government’s agenda

Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP

Chair: Prof Meg Russell FBA, Constitution Unit, UCL

10.15Judicial review, human rights and judiciary

Lord Faulks QC, Chair of Independent Review of Administrative Law
Prof Kate O’Regan, Director of Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Oxford
Joshua Rozenberg QC (Hon), legal commentator and journalist

Chair: Catherine Barnard, UKICE

11.30Coffee break 
11.45Review of Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011

Lord McLoughlin, Chair of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Review of the FTPA
Chris Bryant MP, member of Joint Committee on Review of FTPA
Prof Petra Schleiter, Oxford
Prof Alison Young, Cambridge

Chair: Prof Meg Russell FBA, Constitution Unit, UCL

13.00End of day one 

Day 2 - Friday 18 June

9.30Elections and Referendums.
Updating campaign regulation for digital era

John Pullinger, Chair of Electoral Commission
Dr Kate Dommett, Sheffield
Prof Rachel Gibson, Manchester

Chair: Dr Alan Renwick, Constitution Unit, UCL

10.30Devolution, Scotland and future of the union

Prof Adam Tomkins, Glasgow
Prof Laura McAllister, Cardiff (tbc)
Prof Katy Hayward, Queen’s Belfast
Prof John Denham, Southampton

Chair: Prof Robert Hazell, Constitution Unit, UCL

11.45Coffee break 
12.00Concluding panel.
Re-balancing between parliament,
executive and the courts

Dominic Grieve QC, former Attorney General
Peter Riddell, Commissioner for Public Appointments
Prof Meg Russell FBA, Constitution Unit, UCL
Prof Tim Bale, Queen Mary, University of London

Chair: Prof Petra Schleiter, Oxford

13.00Conference close 

Links and related Constitution Unit projects

Image credit: Dave Busfield-Birch

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