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Latest news, updates and announcements from The Constitution Unit

IAS Junior Research Fellows

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The Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, together with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, has established a UCL Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (UCLIAS). The UCLIAS contributes to all six of the principal themes of UCL Strategy 2034. 

VIDEO: A Roundtable on 2015: The Campaign & General Election in Review

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Speakers

  • Dr Rosie Campbell (Birkbeck): Candidates, MPs and voters
  • Prof Justin Fisher (Brunel): The 2015 campaign and future of the parties
  • Prof Matt Goodwin (Kent): The Future of UKIP
  • Dr Ben Lauderdale (LSE): Forecasting the 2015 General Election
  • Joe Twyman (YouGov) The 2015 polls: What went wrong

The Constitution Unit's 20th Anniversary

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On Tuesday 23rd June, the Constitution Unit held a day-long conference to mark its 20th Anniversary. The event featured a number of high profile speakers and respondents, all of whom had engaged with the Unit in some capacity since its establishment in 1995. 

Press Release: The Politics of JudicialIndependence in the United Kingdom’s Changing Constitution

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politicsofjip


The Constitution Unit at UCL are pleased to announce the publication of The Politics of Judicial Independence published by Cambridge University Press. This was the product of a big collaborative research project with Graham Gee (Birmingham), Robert Hazell (UCL), Patrick O’Brien (LSE) and Kate Malleson (Queen Mary).

VIDEO: Robert Hazell & Fraser Nelson - The New Government’s Constitutional Reform Programme

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Speaker: Professor Robert Hazell & Fraser Nelson (The Spectator)
8th June 2014

New Publication: Magna Carta and its Modern Legacy

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magnacarta

On the Magna Carta's 800th anniversary Robert Hazell and James Melton of the Constitution Unit have edited a volume on the Magna Carta and it's modern legacy. 

First Minister’s speech to the UK’s Changing Union “Devolution and Future of the United Kingdom” Conference

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FMW- carwynjones

“Wales, the Union, and the Future”

Speech by the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales “Devolution and the Future of the Union” 

Unit in the News - the General Election Coverage (May 2015)

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In the run up to the General election and after, members of the Unit have been cited in the following articles and media apperances on a number of issues surrounding the election.

Professor Robert Hazell comments on the publication of letters to government ministers from the Prince of Wales

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Commenting on the publication of letters to government ministers from the Prince of Wales, the Director of UCL’s Constitution Unit Professor Robert Hazell said:

Press Release: Cameron faces major challenges in the Lords, warns expert

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As the fallout from the general election is dissected, some commentators have noted the challenges facing Cameron's new government in managing the House of Commons - given his small majority. But UCL expert Professor Meg Russell warns today that his challenges in managing the House of Lords could be even greater.

Once the election results are in, how do we decide who forms the government?

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Press Release: Devolution and Future of the Union: the Challenge for the new Parliament

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A new report by the Constitution Unit

On the eve of the election the Constitution Unit publishes today a new report on Devolution and the Future of the Union. Its analysis will survive well into the new Parliament, whoever forms the next government. The report explores future challenges to the Union, with all parties committed to further devolution, a resurgent SNP, and the Conservative promise of English votes for English laws. These issues will all feature in the post-election negotiations between the parties, with growing tensions between England and Scotland, and a risk that hasty deals could end up undermining the Union.

Press Release: Senior academic figures specify standards for a post-election constitutional convention

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Today a group of senior academics publish a statement setting out the minimum standards for a post-election constitutional convention. Several of the political parties are now committed to establishing such a body, to discuss the constitutional options for the UK following the Scottish referendum. The Labour Party manifesto promises 'a people-led Constitutional Convention’, the Liberal Democrat manifesto 'a UK Constitutional Convention’ and the Greens' manifesto 'a Constitutional Convention led by citizens’. The other parties either support or are prepared to contemplate establishment of such a body. In the expectation that this topic could form part of interparty negotiations following the election, the day's document sets out eight basic standards that a constitutional convention should meet.

ELECTION 2015: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT  

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Professor Robert Hazell on Another hung Parliament: what next?

In this short video Professor Robert Hazell explains how the new government will be formed if no single party gains an overall majority in the UK general election in May.

Unit in the News - The Parliamentary Candidates UK project & the General Election (April 2015)

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The Parliamentary Candidates UK project, which is a resource for those interested in representation and the UK political class have in the run up to the elections been quoted in a number of news outlets. Also the team have appeared on Good Morning Britain and other news programmes. 

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Meg Russell- Politics, Academia and the Real World

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Tuesday 3 March 2015 - 6.30pm

Presiding: Professor Mary Fulbrook, Dean of Faculty of Social And Historical Sciences

Press Release: New report finds that codification of the UK’s constitution is not essential

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whattocodify

The Constitution Unit is pleased to announce the launch of a new report on codification of the UK’s constitution. The report compares the texts of constitutionally relevant statutes in the UK to other countries’ constitutional texts. In doing so, it provides three lessons for those involved in the debate over codification (or not) of the UK’s constitution:

VIDEO: Professor Robert Hazell on Another hung Parliament: what next?

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In this short video Professor Robert Hazell explains how the new government will be formed if no single party gains an overall majority in the UK general election in May.

New Leadership for the Constitution Unit from September 2015

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Meg Russell, Alan Renwick & Robert Hazell

New arrangements for the leadership of the Constitution Unit are planned from September 2015. Professor Robert Hazell will formally step down as Director, after 20 years in the role, to be succeeded by the current Deputy Director, Professor Meg Russell. At the same time Dr Alan Renwick joins the UCL Department of Political Science from the University of Reading, and will take over as the Constitution Unit Deputy Director.

VIDEO: Nicholas Paines QC & Henni Ouahes  - Reforming Electoral Law

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Speakers: Nicholas Paines QC & Henni Ouahes (Law Commission)

28th January 2015

Meg Russell on BBC Westminster hour talking about why system for appointing peers needs urgent reform

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Meg Russell was on the BBC Westminster Hour programme on Sunday 23 February 2015 talking about why system for appointing peers needs urgent reform.

VIDEO: The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland on 'Austerity, inequality and the Scottish approach to economic growth' 

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Nicola Sturgeon &RH


Nicola Sturgeon the First Minister of Scotland spoke at a public lecture on Wednesday 11th February on 'Austerity, inequality and the Scottish approach to economic growth' 

Press Release: New report calls for regulation of prime ministerial appointments to the Lords

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A new report published today by respected think tank the Constitution Unit, and backed by other key constitutional reform bodies, calls for immediate moves to regulate prime ministerial appointments to the House of Lords. The report was launched last night at a high-profile event in the Lords, presided over by the former Lord Speaker and welcomed by various senior figures.

Unit in the News - January 2015

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The new Parliamentary Candidates UK project, which is a new resource for those interested in representation and the UK political class, has been quoted in the press recently.

VIDEO: Professor Michael Kenny - Understanding the Re-emergence of the English Question

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Speaker: Professor Michael Kenny
8th December 2014

Press Release: Don’t Rush English Votes on English Laws, says Constitution Unit

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Commenting on the publication today of the government’s different options for English votes for English laws, the Director of UCL’s Constitution Unit Professor Robert Hazell said:

VIDEO: Dominic Grieve QC MP - Why It Matters that Conservatives Should Support the European Convention on Human Rights

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Speaker: Dominic Grieve
3rd December 2014

A British withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights would be “devastating for Britain and human rights throughout Europe, says Dominic Grieve, sacked as Attorney General by David Cameron in July.

VIDEO: Dr Alan Renwick & Katie Ghose - A Constitutional Convention for the UK: What Form Should It Take?

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Speaker: Dr Alan Renwick & Katie Ghose
12th November 2014

Talk to University College London by the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP 'Why Human Rights should matter to Conservatives'

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Check against delivery

Introduction

I am most grateful for the kind invitation that has been extended to me tonight by both the UCL Constitution Unit and Judicial Institute to come and talk about the operation of the ECHR and the Human Rights Act from a Conservative perspective. Throughout my time in politics, but particularly after I became Attorney General in 2010 I have come to value the work that you have done and my opportunities to learn from your events and publications.

Press Release: Speech by the Former Attorney Gengeral Dominic Grieve MP to the Constitution Unit and Judicial Institute of UCL on 3 December 2014

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A British withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights would be “devastating for Britain and human rights throughout Europe, says Dominic Grieve, sacked as Attorney General by David Cameron in July.

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Was the 2015 election the most disproportional ever? It depends how you measure it

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:00:54 +0000

The 2015 election has been described as both one of the most disproportional elections ever and one of the least. Alan Renwick discusses the notion of electoral disproportionality and weighs up the relative merits of the different indexes that have been developed to measure it. In a report published earlier this month, the Electoral Reform […]

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The age of the new Parliament

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:05:31 +0000

The 2015 general election saw the election of the youngest MP since 1832. Chrysa Lamprinakou draws on Parliamentary Candidates UK data to highlight the slow but steady downward shift in the age at which MPs start their careers and the variation across parties. In our previous blog, we discussed the new Parliament’s composition in terms of gender […]

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The Conservative government’s Scotland bill

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 09:00:34 +0000

The Scotland Bill has been introduced early, facilitated by the fact the coalition government published draft clauses in January. Alan Trench writes that implements the proposals of the Smith Commission, and although it appears to be a done deal, it is likely to be challenged by the SNP. This article is taken from the latest edition […]

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