January 2024 Update
Image: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking at a press conference on migration (image Crown copyright, reproduced under Open Government Licence)
Parliamentary responsibility for the Rule of Law is a live subject in the UK this week. It raises stark but also nuanced questions for the House of Lords, the unelected second chamber of Parliament which this week began debating the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, after it was rushed through the House of Commons unaltered. Our Research Director, Professor Jeff King (UCL and Bingham Centre), has blogged about the constitutional propriety of the Lords intervening to halt or significantly amend such a contentious Bill. The Lords find themselves under pressure as the Prime Minister has called upon them not to "frustrate the will of the people".
The opposition Labour party, having voted against the Bill in the Commons, has partly aligned itself with this view, with its frontbench indicating that the second chamber should not block the Bill. Jeff's blog examines both contentions in the context of the constitutional crisis that could result if the Bill were to pass and then be challenged in the courts.
This Update also brings you news of our latest Rule of Law analysis of the Rwanda Bill. We are pleased to introduce new international standards for democratic law-making, developed by an OSCE expert group that included Bingham Centre members. We have further publication links to share, and a reminder our recently announced conference on UK constitutional reform proposals made by the Brown Commission. The conference takes place on 1st March and is free to attend, with prior registration required.
This month's update brings you news of our upcoming and recent events and activities:
- House of Lords engages with our analysis of the Rwanda Bill
- The House of Lords, Constitutional Propriety, and the Safety of Rwanda Bill
- OSCE Guiding Principles of Democratic Lawmaking and Better Laws
- From Brexit to Rule of Law backsliding: a new approach to managing EU member state dissent?
- Top 5 Rule of Law books of 2023
- Modern Slavery PEC news
- Upcoming event - Constitutional Reform in the UK: A Conference on the Brown Commission Report
- Upcoming event - APPG meeting on Universal Credit, Digitalisation and the Rule of Law
- Upcoming BIICL training courses available for booking
You can read the whole update here.