The Constitution Unit



Monitor is our regular constitutional review, published three times a year. It contains analysis of constitutional developments in the UK and around the world, as well as news from the Constitution Unit.

You can sign up to receive each edition of Monitor in your inbox through our mailing list.

The first page of Monitor 86

Pre-election politics and the constitution (Monitor 86, March 2024)

Included in this issue: the constitutional ramifications of the Rwanda plan; parliament’s role in the UK’s air strikes in Yemen; Lindsay Hoyle in hot water; David Cameron becomes Lord Cameron; implementing the controversial Elections Act 2022; more recall petitions; the return of Simon Case and start of access talks; the King’s cancer diagnosis; the Jo Cox Civility Commission; developments in English devolution; devolution returns to Northern Ireland; judicial reform in Israel and much more.

The first page of Monitor 85

Positioning for the next general election (Monitor 85, November 2023)

Included in this issue: controversies over the government’s attitude to parliamentary scrutiny; recent decisions over the alleged misconduct of parliamentarians; demands for reform of House of Lords appointments; the Electoral Commission’s report on the impact of voter ID; the government’s response to multiple reports on ethical standards; progress and tensions in English devolution policy; the Senedd reform agenda; public opinion on cultural changes versus constitutional reforms and much more.

The first page of Monitor 84

Sunak's standards slipping (Monitor 84, July 2023)

Included in this issue: the Privileges Committee report on Boris Johnson; ongoing concerns about parliamentary scrutiny; controversial Lords appointments; local elections, voter ID, & challenges facing election administrators; the ACOBA report on Sue Gray; developments in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland; protests in Israel sparked by proposed judicial reforms; a new Unit report on proposed constitutional reforms and much more.

The first page of Monitor 83

Sunak's constitutional dilemmas (Monitor 83, March 2023)

Included in this issue: the appointment of a new Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, the deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Retained EU Law Bill, voter ID requirements, standards in government, planning the coronation, the Bill of Rights Bill, the appointment of Sue Gray as Keir Starmer's Chief of Staff, the Commission on the UK's Future, constitutional reform in Chile and much more.

The first page of Monitor 82

Achieving a new normal for the constitution? (Monitor 82, November 2022)

Included in this issue: Liz Truss's premiership; Rishi Sunak becomes Prime Minister; the death of Elizabeth II and accession of Charles III; House of Lords appointments; Electoral Commission updates; Labour and the constitution; and much more.

The first page of Monitor 81

Johnson falls; what’s next for the constitution? (Monitor 81, August 2022)

Included in this issue: the fall of Boris Johnson; the passage of the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act, Elections Act and Judicial Review and Courts Act; the introduction of the Online Safety Bill, Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and Bill of Rights Bill; the Brexit Freedoms Bill; changes to the Ministerial Code; Northern Ireland Assembly elections; steps towards a Scottish independence referendum; agreement on expanding the Senedd and much more.

The first page of Monitor 80

Defending democracy (Monitor 80, March 2022)

Included in this issue: Boris Johnson's relationship with his backbenchers; parliamentary scrutiny in light of criticism from House of Lords committees; parliamentary standards following the Owen Paterson scandal and IEP report into John Bercow; House of Lords defeats on amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill; controversial constitutional legislation and much more.

The first page of Monitor 79

Is this what democratic backsliding feels like? (PDF Monitor 79, November 2021)

Included in this issue: continuing concerns about parliamentary scrutiny; the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill; the end of English Votes for English Laws; MPs' conduct; the Elections Bill; the Committee on Standards in Public Life reports on regulating election finance and upholding standards in public life; executive-judiciary relations and much more.

The first page of Monitor 78

Constitutional uncertainty on multiple fronts (PDF Monitor 78, July 2021)

Included in this issue: parliamentary scrutiny of lockdown announcements and the Withdrawal Agreement; the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill; the 18-month review of the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme; electoral reform proposals; standards in public life following scandals involving both Boris Johnson and David Cameron and much more. 

The first page of Monitor 77

Change, continuity, and an uncertain future for the Union (PDF Monitor 77, March 2021)

Included in this issue: the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement; parliamentary scrutiny and the backbench Covid Recovery Group; the hybrid House of Commons; House of Lords appointments; the regulation of online harms; the departure of Dominic Cummings from Number 10; minister-civil service relations, the US election and much more.

The first page of Monitor 76

Democratic lockdown? (PDF Monitor 76, November 2020)

Included in this issue: the countdown to a UK-EU trade deal; the controversial UK Internal Market Bill; patience wearing thin for parliamentary scrutiny of the government's COVID-19 response; controversial appointments to the House of Lords; Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 reports; the 'Russia report'; an exodus of senior civil servants; city regions and COVID-19 and more.

The first page of Monitor 75

The constitution under COVID-19 (PDF Monitor 75, July 2020)

Included in this issue: virtual, hybrid and physical parliament; the government's response to the pandemic and scrutiny thereof; maternity cover for MPs; postponement of the May 2020 elections; election reform; Dominic Raab deputises for Boris Johnson; civil service reform; the FCO-DfID merger; the court system struggles to adapt to COVID-19; the pandemic's impact on devolution and much more.

The first page of Monitor 74

Normality, or Revolution? (PDF Monitor 74, March 2020)

Included in this issue: the 2019 general election and what followed; the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020; Future Relationship negotiations; Boris Johnson's constitutional reform agenda in respect of parliament, electoral reform and the judiciary; the February reshuffle; civil service tensions; Labour and Liberal Democrat leadership contests and much more.

  On the Brink (November 2019)
  Brexit and the changing logic of British Politics (June 2019)
 Brexit: the constitution under strain (March 2019)
  Brexit: The uncertain road ahead (November 2018)
  Rethinking referendums (July 2018)
  A constitution in flux (March 2018)
  Brexit blues (November 2017)
  The most unexpected election (June 2017)
  Testing constitutional times (February 2017)
  Brexit and the transformation of British politics (October 2016)
  The EU Referendum: A fair process? (June 2016)
  The Lords: Crisis? What crisis? (February 2016)
  The new government’s constitutional reform programme (October 2015)
  The Conservatives’ constitutional reform programme (June 2015)
  Preparing for another hung parliament (February 2015)
  Scotland, England and the Union (October 2014)
  Scottish Independence: the Countdown (June 2014)
  Code of Constitutional Standards (February 2014)
  Major New International Venture The Launch of Constitute: The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search and Compare (November 2013)
  The Coalition at Three (June 2013)
  Commission on a Bill of Rights Reports (February 2013)
  Lords Reform: Dead, or Just Resting? (October 2012)
  Scottish Independence: The Battle Lines are Drawn (June 2012)
  Will the Queen's Diamond Jubilee change the Rules of Succession? (January 2012)
  Clegg Delivers for the Conservatives (October 2011)
  A Tale of Two Referendums (June 2011)
  Constitutional reforms hit trouble in Parliament (January 2011)
  Government haste puts flagship bills at risk (October 2010)
  Post Election Edition (June 2010)
  Constitutional Issues in the Election (January 2010)
  Labour's Last Fling on Constitutional Reform (September 2009)
  CSPL Inquiry into MPs' Expenses (May 2009)
  Constitutional Reform Put On Hold (January 2009)
  Governance of Britain One Year On (September 2008)
  The 'Constitutional Renewal' Agenda Moves Forward (May 2008)
  Scotland: Toward a New Settlement? (January 2008)
  Gordon Brown and the Constitution (September 2007)
  Lords Reform: Progress at Last? (May 2007)
  The Union under Strain (January 2007)
  Human Rights Sabre Rattling (September 2006)
  Party Donors, Peerages and the Constitution (May 2006) 
  Parliament Bites Back (January 2006)
  Welsh Devolution: The next steps (September 2005)
  FOI goes Live in 2005 (April 2005)
  Elected regions hit the buffers (January 2005)
  Voters want choice in voting methods (September 2004)
  After Thirty Years, the UK again faces a Referendum (June 2004)
  Voting Systems all up for Review (March 2004)
  Constitutional Battles Ahead (December 2003)
  The Reshuffle in Perspective (September 2003)
  Rainbow Parliament in Scotland (June 2003)
  Lords Reform Ends in Shambles (March 2003)
  The Meaning of Modernisation (December 2002)
  PR Commission (August 2002)
  Regional Rejig (June 2002)
  Parliament Awakening? (March 2002)
  Lords Reform Stage Two: Wakeham or What? (December 2001)
  Whitehall's Constitutional Duo (September 2001)
  Constitutional Shake Up in Whitehall Do Britain's Political Parties Understand Devolution? (June 2001)
  Labour's Second Term Agenda (March 2001)
  The State and the Nations (December 2000)
  Rights Unleashed? (September 2000)
  Legislative Logjam (June 2000)
  Devolution Hots Up (March 2000)
  Reforming the House of Lords and Lessons from Overseas (December 1999)
  Unit Wins £1m Grant for Devolution Programme (September 1999)
  Devolution Dawns (June 1999)
  Constitutional Futures (March 1999)
  Constitutional Futures (December 1998)
  Year Two: Home Office takes the lead (September 1998)
  Constitution Unit expands again (May 1998)
  Lords Reform 1,2,3... (March 1998)
 Constitution Unit moves to School of Public Policy in UCL (September 1997)