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Meg Russell and Alan Renwick give evidence to PACAC

Meg Russell and Alan Renwick give evidence to PACAC on the Independent Commission on Referendums 

On 24 July, Constitution Unit Director Professor Meg Russell and Deputy Director Dr Alan Renwick gave evidence to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on behalf of the Independent Commission on Referendums in a one-off evidence session on the Commission's final report.

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Monitor 69 Rethinking Referendums

Latest edition of the Unit's newsletter: Monitor 69 - Rethinking Referendums

The latest edition of the Constitution Unit newsletter, Monitor, is now available to download.

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Independent Commission on Referendums members

Final report of the Constitution Unit's Independent Commission on Referendums launched

The referendum process in the UK requires wholesale reform according to a report published today by the Independent Commission on Referendums.

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Rome LUISS workshop opening welcome

Successful events held in Rome on parliaments and the legislative process

On 11 and 12 June 2018 the Constitution Unit co-hosted a series of events in Rome with the Centre for Parliamentary Studies, Rome LUISS University.

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Meg Russell Constitution Committee

Meg Russell gives evidence to Constitution Committee inquiry into the legislative process

On 6 June, Constitution Unit Director Professor Meg Russell gave oral evidence - along with Daniel Gover (co-author of their book Legislation at Westminster) and Dr Ruth Fox (Director of the Hansard Society) - to the Constitution Committee's inquiry into the legislative process. In 2016, the four-stage inquiry was launched to follow up the Committee's 2004 report on Parliament and the Legislative Process. The Committee produced its first-stage report on preparing legislation in 2017, and is now taking evidence on the passage of legislation through parliament.

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House of Lords committee work

Meg Russell gives evidence to Liaison Committee inquiry into the role of House of Lords Committees

On 25 April Constitution Unit Director Professor Meg Russell gave oral evidence, alongside two representatives from the Institute for Government, to the House of Lords Liaison Committee, which coordinates and reviews the work of the chamber's committees. Earlier this year it launched an inquiry aiming to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Lords committee system, and to make proposals for reform - representing the first such major review in 25 years. This was a historic evidence session, being the first public evidence session ever held by the committee.

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Monitor 68 A Constitution in Flux

Latest edition of the Unit's newsletter: Monitor 68 - A Constitution in Flux

The latest edition of the Constitution Unit newsletter, Monitor, is now available to download.

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Options for an English Parliament

New Constitution Unit report on Options for an English Parliament

Today, the Constitution Unit publishes a new report on Options for an English Parliament. It is the product of a major research project of the same name, funded by the Nuffield Foundation from late 2016 to early 2018.

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Book: Exploring Parliament

Constitution Unit researchers contribute to new parliamentary studies textbook

The newly published book Exploring Parliament edited by Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Louise Thomson (Oxford University Press, 2018) is explicitly intended as a textbook for Parliamentary Studies modules, which introduce undergraduate students to the functioning of the UK parliament. The book brings together contributions from academics and practitioners and covers a wide range of themes related to the organisation and functioning of the UK parliament, and includes several contributions from Constitution Unit staff and Fellows, as well as from Honorary Staff and close collaborators.

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Nick Clegg UCL SPP Policy and Practice seminar

UCL SPP hosts Nick Clegg on 'How to Stop Brexit' and Richard Aitken/Robert Tombs in support of Brexit

The School of Public Policy at UCL is proud to have hosted two big events on Brexit this term, one for and one against. 

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Chamber of Deputies, Montecitorio

Meg Russell wins funds to hold bicameralism events in Rome

Unit Director Meg Russell has won £3500 in funding as part of UCL Rome Regional Partnership Fund, for a partnership with LUISS University, Rome. The project, 'The Challenges of Second Chambers: Parliamentary Bicameralism in Practice, and Prospects for Reform', includes two workshops to be organised in collaboration with LUISS Centre for Parliamentary Studies, which has close relationships with practitioners from the Italian parliament.

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By © Ralph Hammann - Wikimedia Commons (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Alan Renwick gives evidence to the Council of Europe

The Constitution Unit's Deputy Director, Dr Alan Renwick, is in Strasbourg today giving evidence to the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. The committee is launching an inquiry into the conduct of referendums, and Dr Renwick will give an introductory presentation on some of the key issues that it might address.

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Critical Friends? Non Executives on Whitehall Departmental Boards

NEW REPORT: Critical Friends? Non Executives on Whitehall Departmental Boards

The Constitution Unit publishes today the first major study of non-executive board members in Whitehall (commonly known as non-executive directors, or NEDs). The report finds that non-executives are high calibre, committed people, whose expertise is greatly valued by the civil service. But NEDs find the role frustrating, and feel they could be much more effective if the system only allowed.

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Debating Chamber - by UKWiki at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Bonas.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Expert Panel Report: the Welsh Assembly needs to grow

An Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform today recommends that the Welsh Assembly should be expanded in order to hold the Welsh Government to account effectively and deliver for the people and communities of Wales.  

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Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

Unit invites applicants for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Constitution Unit would like to encourage academically-excellent candidates to propose projects to pursue with us as an Early Career Fellow, linked to forthcoming funding opportunities from the Leverhulme Trust. 

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Burns report on Lords size: a rare opportunity to be seized

Burns report on Lords size: a rare opportunity to be seized

Today's proposals from the Lord Speaker's Committee on the Size of the House of Lords should be seized, says the UK's leading academic commentator on the Lords.

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Citizens' Assembly on Brexit group photo members

Public prefer Single Market membership to no Brexit deal

The public would rather remain in the Single Market than see the UK face 'no deal', a representative 'Citizens' Assembly' of voters has found.

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Independent Commission on Referendums

First meeting of the Independent Commission on Referendums

On Monday 16 October, the Independent Commission on Referendums meet for the first time to discuss the use and conduct of referendums in the UK. The Commission will meet over 8 months, take evidence, and produce a report and detailed recommendations in summer 2018.

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EU Withdrawal Bill working group

New group of experts to consider rule of law implications of Brexit Bill

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, the former Attorney General, is to chair a new group of experts brought together to consider the implications of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill for the rule of law. The Expert Working Group on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and the Rule of Law, set up by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law in partnership with the Constitution Unit, will meet for the first time at Westminster today, Monday 9 October.

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Voting options for Citizens' Assembly on Brexit

Results of Citizens' Assembly on Brexit: UK voters want a soft Brexit 

A representative body of UK citizens today sent politicians a clear message in favour of a 'soft' Brexit. Faced with the range of possible outcomes, they chose to retain free movement of labour, but with the UK government exercising all available controls to prevent abuse. If a deal can't be reached in negotiations on trade, staying in the Single Market and Customs Union was preferred to no deal at all.

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Citizens' Assembly to vote on trade and immigration policy for UK after Brexit

A randomly selected group of citizens from across the UK will vote this weekend on preferences for the UK's trade and immigration policy after Brexit - including whether we should remain members of the Single Market, seek a bespoke trade deal, or go it alone.

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Citizens' Assembly on Brexit to put voters' voices into EU negotiations

Citizens from across the UK are taking part in the first 'Citizens' Assembly' on Brexit this weekend in Manchester, in a bid to put voters' voices at the centre of the EU debate.

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Meg Russell's latest book: Legislation at Westminster

On 31 August 2017, Constitution Unit Director Professor Meg Russell publishes her latest book, co-authored with former Constitution Unit researcher Daniel Gover. Russell and Gover's Legislation at Westminster: Parliamentary Actors and Influence in the Making of British Law (Oxford University Press) is the final product of a major Constitution Unit research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation, and represents the most detailed study of the legislative process in the British parliament for over 40 years. It sheds new light on the political dynamics of making law in Britain, showing parliament to be more influential than is often assumed.

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Independent Commission on Referendums

Constitution Unit launches Independent Commission on Referendums

The UCL Constitution Unit today launches an Independent Commission on Referendums, bringing together a group of very senior figures to deliberate on the use and conduct of referendums in the UK. The Commission will meet over 8 months, take evidence, and produce a report and detailed recommendations in summer 2018.

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The Citizens' Assembly on Brexit: Public to debate UK's exit terms

ESRC-funded project receives backing from figures across spectrum - from Remain's Chuka Umunna and Will Straw to Leave's Bernard Jenkin and Suzanne Evans

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