The Constitution Unit


How the Law and Devolution Disputes Shape the Devolution Settlement

February 2001 - July 2004

Principal Investigator: Robert Hazell, with Alan Trench, Roger Masterman, Brigid Hadfield, Rick Rawlings, Terence Daintith, Alan Page, and Andrea Batey

  • End of award report

Aims and Objectives

  • To examine the role of the law in shaping the devolution settlement in its first five years, in terms of adjustments to the division of powers between the UK and the devolved governments, intergovernmental negotiation, and court decisions; and to analyse the respective contributions of each
  • To evaluate the balance and relationship between political and informal methods of resolving disputes on the one side, and legal resolution of disputes (via the courts) on the other.

In Scotland our objectives were:

  • To investigate the consequences of judicial review of legislation for relations between the Scottish Parliament and the courts
  • To investigate the structure and operation of the machinery of legislative coordination and control, at the UK and Scottish level.


  • Rick Rawlings 'Quasi-legislative devolution: powers and principles', Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 54-81.
  • G, Anthony, 'Public Law Litigation and the Belfast Agreement' European Law (8, 2002), pp. 401-422
  • R. Hazeell, 'Merger, What merger? Scotland, Wales and the Department for Constitutional Affairs', Public Law, winter 2003, pp. 650-655
  • R. Rawlings, Delineating Wales. Constitutional, Legal and Administrative Aspects of National Devolution, University of Wales Press, 2003.
  • B. Winetrobe, 'Scottish devolution: aspirations and reality in multi-layer governance', in J. Jowell and D. Oliver, The Changing Constitution, 5th ed., 2004
  • B Winetrobe, 'Parliament and devolution: Westminster in the age of multi-layer democracy', in N Baldwin (ed.), Parliament in the 21st century, 2004.
  • A. Page and A Batey, 'Scotland's Other Parliament: Westminster Legislation in the Devolved Areas Since Devolution', Public Law, 2002, 501-523
  • K. Patchett, 'The Assembly's Engagement with Westminster and Whitehall", J Barry Jones & J. Osmond (eds), Building a Civic Culture, IWA & Welsh Governance Centre, 2002, pp. 17- 31
  • K. Patchett, Developing a Partnership Approach to Primary Legislation between Westminster and the National Assembly, IWA, 2002