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Jan van Zyl Smit

Biography Dr Jan van Zyl Smit is Deputy Director of the Bingham Centre of the Rule of Law, supporting the Director and assisting with the co-ordination of the Centre's research and events programme. Jan's research is mainly in the areas of constitutional and administrative law and much of it focuses on court systems and judiciary. He is the author of The Appointment, Tenure and Removal of Judges under Commonwealth Principles (2015), a comparative study of the judicial frameworks of…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Justine Stefanelli

CITIZENSHIP

Ulysses Smith

Biography Ulysses is Director of the Business and the Rule of Law programme and a Senior Research Fellow at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. He is a New York based lawyer and currently runs Telos Governance Advisers, which advises businesses, governments and not-for-profits on issues of governance, Rule of Law, development and human rights compliance.  He was previously a senior associate in the New York office of UK-based law firm Linklaters LLP, where he practised as an attorney…

BUSINESS

Lise Smit

Biography Lise Smit is Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights, and joined BIICL in March 2015. She conducts research on corporate human rights due diligence and other aspects of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Prior to joining the Institute, Lise was a practicing advocate at the Cape Town Bar in South Africa. She has worked on business and human rights issues for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the UN Global Compact Office.…

BUSINESS

Lucy Moxham

Biography Lucy Moxham joined the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law at BIICL in January 2012. She is a Senior Research Fellow in the Rule of Law and leads the Bingham Centre's programme of work on Government and the Rule of Law. At the Bingham Centre, Lucy has worked extensively on Rule of Law and human rights issues, including as part of the RECONNECT research project on 'Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law' (www.reconnect-europe.eu), which has received…

GOVERNMENT

Murray Hunt

Biography Murray Hunt is the Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. He has a lifelong interest in the ways and means by which the values a society considers fundamental attain and keep a special normative status, how that special status can be reconciled with a commitment to representative democracy, and how to get practitioners and theorists to talk to each other about these questions so that practice is informed by theory, and theory informed by practice. From 2004 to 2017,…

EUROPE+1

Sofia Gonzalez De Aguinaga

Biography Dr Sofia Gonzalez is a Research Fellow in Business, ESG & Modern Slavery and joined BIICL in February 2022. She leads the research work strand on Business and Modern Slavery of the Bingham Centre for the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC). She is also developing a relevant research programme on Modern Slavery and businesses' ESG responsibilities for the Bingham Centre's Business Network. Before joining BIICL she worked as a consultant for the Walk…

BUSINESS+1

Oliver Garner

Biography Dr. Oliver Garner is Maurice Wohl Research Fellow in European Rule of Law at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He holds a B.A. in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford, and an LL.M. in Comparative, European and International Laws and a Doctorate in Laws from the European University Institute (EUI). His Ph.D. research analysed withdrawal and opt-outs from the European Union. His work has been published in the…

EUROPE

Ronan Cormacain

Biography Dr Cormacain is a Senior Research Fellow at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He is leading the Rule of Law Monitoring of Legislation Project. This aim of this project is a systematic analysis of all Government Bills to assess whether they comply with Rule of Law principles. Dr Cormacain was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland, has an LLM in Human Rights from Queens University Belfast, and an LLM from the University…

GOVERNMENT+1

Julinda Beqiraj

Biography Dr. Julinda Beqiraj is Maurice Wohl Senior Research Fellow in European Law.  She leads and develops the research and events program in European law and publishes high-quality research for the Institute in this area; proactively pursues Institute-wide research projects in European law areas, (such as human rights trade and the environment), drawing on expertise from across the Institute, as appropriate; and contributes to the Bingham Centre's work on Access…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Joint written evidence submission to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022.

Joint written evidence submission to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 Executive Summary The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill pursues the legislative objective of ensuring that the UK statute book reflects the legal and political reality of withdrawal from the European Union. In their joint written evidence submission to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the REUL (R&R), the Bingham Centre's Maurice…

EUROPE+1

Supplying governments amidst modern slavery provisions in public procurement

This is an accompanying piece to a Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Center (Modern Slavery PEC) Policy Brief  on the Effectiveness of public procurement measures in addressing modern slavery. The Modern Slavery PEC is led by the Bingham Center and Dr Sofia Gonzalez de Aguinaga is one of the authors of the Brief. Here she discusses the impact of public procurement modern slavery measures on business.  Businesses are increasingly facing regulations to tackle modern…

BUSINESS+1

Update 4 November 2022

Image: Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KC Dear Friends, Our Update is now fortnightly, and much has happened over the past two weeks. The UK has a new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who promised in his first speech that the Government he leads "will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level". The breadth of this commitment is welcome, and fulfilling it in practice will require unequivocal adherence to Rule of Law at home and abroad. Wider norms, such as the Nolan…

COVID-19+3

Update 21 October 2022

Image: Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing her resignation (Photo by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street, reproduced under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Dear Friends, After a chaotic week in Westminster that ended with Liz Truss' resignation, the UK looks set to have its third Prime Minister in two months. It remains unclear who will succeed Truss, but the Bingham Centre will be scrutinising any new Government's legislative programme and actions insofar as they have implications…

EUROPE+3

Launch of the Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law is delighted to announce the launch of the 'Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers' to review the UK's legislative framework and institutional arrangements, alongside Government decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim is that the Independent Commission's findings and recommendations will help to inform planning for future public health emergencies. More immediately, the Commission will make recommendations to inform…

COVID-19+2

Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers Contact

Contact The Commission About the Commission The Commission's Terms of Reference Meet the Commissioners Frequently Asked Questions You can contact the Commission by writing to us at:  Bingham Centre for the Rule of law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5JP. or via email:  ep.commission@binghamcentre.biicl.org

COVID-19+1

Public Health Emergency Powers Commision - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions  About the Commission  The Commission's Terms of Reference  Meet the Commissioners  Contact the Commission  What is the Commission?  The Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers is an independent body chaired by The Rt. Hon. Sir Jack Beatson FBA. It brings together twelve individuals to work as Commissioners. The Commission will review the UK's public health legislative…

COVID-19+1

Meet The Commissioner UK public health emergency powers

UK Public Health Emergency Powers Meet The Commissioners About the Commission  The Commission's Terms of Reference  Contact the Commission  Frequently Asked Questions  Rt. Hon. Sir Jack Beatson FBA (Chair) Sir Jack Beatson was a member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales between 2013 and 2018. Prior to that he served as a High Court judge, Law Commissioner for England and Wales, Member of what is now the UK's Competition…

COVID-19+1

Public Health Commission Terms of Reference

The Commission's Terms of Reference About the Commission  Meet the Commissioners  Contact the Commission  Frequently Asked Questions  The Commission's Terms of Reference Aims 1.1 The Commission will: Review the legislative powers available for use in a public health emergency, and associated procedural safeguards; Consider how emergency legislation was made, used, disseminated and enforced during the Covid-19…

COVID-19+1

Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers

 Independent Commission on             UK Public Health Emergency Powers The Commission's Terms of Reference  Meet the Commissioners Contact the Commission Frequently Asked Questions About the Commission The Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers is chaired by The Rt. Hon. Sir Jack Beatson FBA. The Commission will review the UK's public health legislative framework and institutional…

COVID-19+1

Weekly Update 30 September 2022

Weekly Update 30 September 2022 Dear Friends, Secret laws violate the Rule of Law, sowing fear and chaos even in authoritarian societies. This was dramatically illustrated last week by President Putin's conscription decree to mobilise new forces for the war in Ukraine, as the category of people subject to conscription was reportedly contained in a secret paragraph. The regime claimed that it was mobilising only reservists and people with specialised military skills. However, flights…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS+2

The Rule of Law and investor approaches to ESG: Discussion paper

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) is an increasing focus for both companies and investors; this paper argues that Rule of Law also needs to be, in order to support and reinforce the approach to ESG issues. The author attempts to draw out the interdependence between economic prosperity, long-term investment and ESG, and the Rule of Law. It offers investors insights into the ways in which their ESG activities already interact with Rule of Law concepts and delivery. It seeks to develop…

BUSINESS

Weekly Update 23 September 2022

Weekly Update 23 September 2022 Dear Friends, Welcome back to the Bingham Centre's Weekly Update, which resumes this week after a summer break. Much has changed over this period. The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who came to define the modern UK monarchy during her 70 years on the throne, has been widely mourned amid reflection on her extraordinary public service. The Queen performed the role of constitutional sovereign of the UK and other realms, as well as Head of the wider Commonwealth,…

EUROPE+2

Business Network new

Business Network The Rule of Law is an essential prerequisite for businesses to thrive. The Rule of Law creates the necessary environment for democratic governance, human dignity and economic prosperity and ensures predictable rules, equal treatment, access to efficient and timely justice, and respect of human rights and international rules.The Business Network was launched in 2017 to support leading companies to defend and promote the Rule of Law in their countries of operation.…

BUSINESS+1

Weekly Update 29 July 2022

Weekly Update 29 July 2022 Dear Friends, This is our last edition before the Weekly Update takes a break for the summer. We wish all Northern Hemisphere readers a respite from the widespread heatwaves, and look forward to bringing you more news from September. On 12 September, the UK's controversial "Bill of Rights" Bill is due to be debated in the House of Commons. The Bingham Centre already has a programme of work examining this Bill. This week, we are pleased to announce a joint project…

CITIZENSHIP+4

Weekly Update 22 July 2022

Weekly Update 22 July 2022 Dear Friends, This week has seen the contest to replace Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party take most of the headlines. Voting amongst Tory MPs has reduced the field down to Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Elizabeth Truss, the current Foreign Secretary. As was the case in 2019, the next Prime Minister will now be decided by a subset of the general electorate - members of the ruling Conservative Party. Voting has opened, and…

Modern Slavery+1

Weekly Update 15 July 2022

Weekly Update 15 July 2022 Dear Friends, Parliamentary business slowed down markedly this week, as the Conservative Party leadership contest took centre stage. Disappointingly, two Cabinet ministers withdrew from committee appearances in which they were likely to have been questioned on Rule of Law issues: Home Secretary Priti Patel would have faced questions from the Home Affairs Committee about her controversial policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, while Justice Secretary Dominic…

Modern Slavery+3

CT Commission Call For Evidence

Counter-Terrorism Commission: Call for Evidence About The Commission  The Commission's Terms of Reference  Meet the Commissioners  Contact the Commission  Frequently Asked Questions Call For Evidence Background and purpose This consultation  is an activity of the Commission on UK Counter-Terrorism Law, Policy and Practice, which is convened by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. The purpose of this consultation is to…

SECURITY

Weekly Update 8 July 2022

Weekly Update 08 July 2022 Dear Friends, How will the turmoil at the highest levels of the UK Government this week affect the Rule of Law? A Conservative Party leadership election will soon be held, following scandal-hit Prime Minister Boris Johnson's promise to step down. One of the main topics that leadership candidates will have to address is the restoration of standards in public life, and hopefully this will bring some attention to Rule of Law issues. The former Health Secretary Sajid…

EUROPE+2

The Rule of Law and the so-called “Bill of Rights” Bill

The Bingham Centre is monitoring and responding to the Government's plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and replace it with a so-called "Bill of Rights". In December 2020, the Government established an Independent Human Rights Act Review to consider the operation of the HRA and whether any change is needed. The Independent Review's final report was published on 14 December 2021, and mostly recommended maintaining the status quo with no major reforms to the HRA.…

GOVERNMENT+1

Young People's Rights Are Human Rights

In partnership with EachOther, we've made a brand new series of videos that explores the importance of public legal education for young people, particularly as it relates to the Rule of Law. The 'Young People's Rights Are Human Rights' hub also features a series of blogs written by our team and collaborators. Click the picture to the right to be taken through to the hub! Share LinksProject - Tags

#citizenship

Weekly Update 01 July 2022

Weekly Update 01 July 2022 Dear Friends, Public debate about the role of courts in protecting human rights has become increasingly bitter in both the UK and the USA in recent weeks. A particular approach to the interpretation of rights guarantees - the "living instrument" doctrine, which judges use to interpret rights in the light of contemporary social norms -has come under fire in both countries. In the UK, the Government argues that it has led the Strasbourg Court to be too generous in…

BUSINESS+5

Weekly Update 24 June 2022

Weekly Update 24 June 2022 Dear Friends, The UK Government published its Bill of Rights Bill this week. We are still analysing the substantive contents of this Bill, which, if enacted, would repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and replace it with a so-called "Bill of Rights". The Bill has profound implications for the effective protection of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law and for the devolution settlement, for which protection of Convention rights is…

CITIZENSHIP+2

CT Commision Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions  About the Commission  The Commission's Terms of Reference Meet the Commissioners Contact the Commission Call for Evidence What is the Commission?  The Commission will bring together 15 individuals with a diversity of knowledge, understanding and experiences to undertake a review relevant counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices; consider the impact of measures on different groups and communities;…

SECURITY

Weekly Update 17 June 2022

Weekly Update 17 June 2022 Dear Friends, International law is the subject of one of the eight Rule of Law principles in Tom Bingham's The Rule of Law (2010). Lord Bingham argued that the Rule of Law "requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international law as in national law". He devoted a chapter of his book to this principle, in which the most controversial issue discussed was the 2003 Iraq war, perhaps reflecting the fact that the UK's basis for participating in the…

EUROPE+2

Does the Vienna Convention provide a legal off-ramp for unilaterally changing the Northern Ireland Protocol?

Reposted with permission from UK Constitutional Law Association Blog  The Northern Ireland Protocol is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, designed to set out the legal parameters of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The Government proposes to introduce legislation to unilaterally change the Protocol. On the face of it, this would appear to place the Government on the highway to a breach of international law. But are there any off-ramps which allow it to avoid this destination?…

EUROPE+2

Weekly Update 10 June 2022

Weekly Update 10 June 2022 Dear Friends, Next week, if news reports are correct, the UK Government may publish a Bill authorising unilateral departures from the Northern Ireland Protocol to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. This prospect is provoking increasing Rule of Law concerns. Jesse Norman MP, a former Treasury minister in the current Government, wrote that breaching the Protocol would be "almost certainly illegal". This was one of several matters, along with the Prime Minister's…

EUROPE+1

Weekly Update 27 May 2022

Weekly Update 27 May 2022 Dear Friends, This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he took "full responsibility" for a series of parties in Downing Street that had breached COVID-19 regulations and led to him being fined by the Metropolitan police, among a total of 126 fines issued. Yet he did not resign. The "Partygate" scandal is not only about breaches of the criminal law, which some have likened to mere "parking fines", while others have recalled the serious public health purpose…

CITIZENSHIP+2

Contact The Commission

Contact The Commission About the Commission The Commission's Terms of Reference Meet the Commissioners Frequently Asked Questions Call for Evidence You can contact the Commission by writing to us at:  Bingham Centre for the Rule of law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5JP. or via email:  ct.commission@binghamcentre.biicl.org

SECURITY

Weekly Update 20 May 2022

Weekly Update 20 May 2022 Dear Friends, On Tuesday, the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, announced to the House of Commons that the UK Government would be introducing legislation to make changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol. The United Kingdom seems to be going outside of the framework provided by the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol to resolve difficulties in a move reminiscent of the UK Internal Market Bill clauses from 2020, which were widely criticised for undermining the Rule…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Weekly Update 13 May 2022

Weekly Update 13 May 2022 Dear Friends, The UK Government's legislative programme for 2022-2023 was announced in the Queen's Speech in Parliament on Tuesday. In accordance with tradition the speech was written by the Government and it was read on this occasion by Prince Charles. It is curious that the speech did not explicitly mention the Government's plans to legislate contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. Perhaps this was a tactful omission which…

brexit+5

Weekly Update 6 May 2022

Weekly Update 6 May 2022 Dear Friends, This week, elections have taken place for local councils across the UK and for the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly. Whereas the former may have political consequences in the wake of the Prime Minister's Fixed Penalty Notice for breaching COVID-19 restrictions, the latter elections may have more direct consequences for the Rule of Law. The results for the Stormont Assembly may influence the Government's attempts to renegotiate the Protocol on Ireland/Northern…

COVID-19+2

Weekly Update 29 April 2022

Weekly Update 29 April 2022 Dear Friends, What is the state of the Rule of Law in Europe today, and what can be done to strengthen it? This question has become ever more important - even for mainstream politicians - in the context of the war in Ukraine, increasingly bitter disputes about democratic "backsliding", and a growing body of regional Rule of Law standards and monitoring mechanisms. For some, the European Rule of Law glass is half-full, while others insist that it is half-empty. This…

CITIZENSHIP+4

Meet The Commissioner

Independent Counter Terrorism Commission: Meet The Commissioners About the Commission The Commission's Terms of Reference Contact the Commission Frequently Asked Questions Call for Evidence Rt. Hon. Sir Declan Morgan PC QC (Chair) Sir Declan Morgan is a Supplementary Panel member of the UK Supreme Court. He was Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland (2002-2004). He was appointed to the High Court in 2004, was chair of the Northern Ireland Law…

SECURITY

The Commission Terms of Reference

The Commission's Terms of Reference About the Commission     Meet the Commissioners Contact the Commission Frequently Asked Questions Call for Evidence The Commission's Terms of Reference Aims 1.1 The Commission will: Review relevant UK counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices; Consider their impact on different groups and communities; Examine adherence to human rights standards and the requirements of…

SECURITY

Weekly Update 8 April 2022

Weekly Update 8 April 2022 Dear Friends, On Sunday 3 April, Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party won the Hungarian parliamentary elections, with an increased share of the popular vote (54%). This ensured that it would retain a two-thirds "super-majority" in the legislature, and with it the ability to amend the Hungarian constitution. The victory means a fourth straight term as Prime Minister for Orbán, and the continuation of his project of "illiberal democracy" in opposition to the broad European…

DIGITAL AGE+5

Weekly Update 1 April 2022

Weekly Update 1 April 2022 Dear Friends, Defending the Rule of Law sometimes means standing up, again and again, for principled solutions in politically sensitive areas. Refugee and asylum law is one such area. Today, the Bingham Centre publishes its fourth report on the Nationality and Borders Bill. We argue that the House of Lords should resist pressure from the House of Commons which has reinserted a number of problematic clauses into the Bill. Among these are clauses that would…

CITIZENSHIP+3

Weekly Update 18 March 2022

Weekly Update 18 March 2022 Dear Friends, In a development with truly momentous implications for the post-War European architecture designed to uphold the Rule of Law, democracy, and human rights across the continent, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe this week. Following an extraordinary debate in the Parliamentary Assembly, culminating in an Opinion that Russia should cease to be a member of the organisation set up after World War II "to achieve a greater unity between…

DIGITAL AGE+3

Weekly Update 11 March 2022

Weekly Update 11 March 2022 Dear Friends, Last week, we reported on an initiative to establish a special tribunal on the crime of aggression in relation to Ukraine. The creation of such a tribunal would enable the international Rule of Law to be upheld by filling the gap which currently exists in the machinery for ensuring that the crime of aggression on the territory of Ukraine does not go unpunished. The establishment of a special criminal tribunal continues to attract support from…

CITIZENSHIP+3

Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in criminal matters in the UK and in developing countries: A scoping study

Organised crime causes a variety of issues ranging from social to economic, at both the micro and macro levels. In addition to the efforts to address crime within individual States, there is an ever-increasing need to be able to combat criminal activity that extends beyond national borders. Among the various instruments that assist States in this respect, Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), is the formal means by which States cooperate by requesting and providing assistance to each other in…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Weekly Update 25 February 2022

Weekly Update 25 February 2022 Dear Friends, The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which President Putin claims to be justified in international law, is in fact a grave breach of international law, as explained by Professor Andrew Clapham, an expert on the Law of War, in last week's Matrix podcast Russia-Ukraine: What's Law got to do with it?. In a stark repudiation of multilateralism and the rules-based international order, the attack began in the early hours of Thursday while the UN Security…

EUROPE+1

Weekly Update 18 February 2022

Weekly Update 18 February 2022 Dear Friends, This week saw a significant milestone for the Rule of Law in the European Union. On Wednesday, the Court of Justice of the EU upheld the validity of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget, rejecting arguments to the contrary by Hungary and Poland. The judgment means that the European Commission is finally free to adopt guidelines on the use of the regulation. This means the Commission…

CITIZENSHIP+3

Weekly Update 11 February 2022

Weekly Update 11 February 2022 Dear Friends, Rule of Law arguments continue to make the headlines. In a wide-ranging lecture entitled 'In democracy we trust?' to the Institute of Government on Thursday, the former Prime Minister Sir John Major stated that "The Prime Minister and our present Government not only challenge the law, but also seem to believe that they - and they alone - need not obey the rules". The continuing fallout from the "partygate" revelations for trust in the Government…

CITIZENSHIP+4

Weekly Update 4 February 2022

Weekly Update 4 February 2022 Dear Friends, This week we learnt from the Gray inquiry update that police are investigating 12 gatherings in or around the UK Prime Minister's offices at 10 Downing Street for possible breaches of Coronavirus regulations. The intense public interest in 'partygate' has shown how much the Rule of Law matters to people. However, threats to the Rule of Law are not always so well publicised or widely understood. In this week's Update, we bring you news of our…

COVID-19+3

Nationality and Borders Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis of Clauses 29 and 39

Nationality and Borders Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis of Clauses 29 to 39 Executive Summary This Report analyses Clauses 29 to 39 of the Nationality and Borders Bill from a Rule of Law perspective, to be debated in Committee Stage in the House of Lords on Tuesday 1st and Thursday 3rd of February. It follows our previous report on Clauses 9 and 11 of the Bill.  Clauses 29 to 37 purport to interpret the Refugee Convention. However, the way in which they do so is not in compliance…

PARLIAMENTS

Weekly Update 28 January 2022

Weekly Update 28 January 2022 Dear Friends, "Nobody is above the law. This is important for ensuring the necessary degree of trust between the public and government." These are the words of former Prime Minister Theresa May, as quoted this week by a local newspaper in her Maidenhead constituency. This week, the Metropolitan Police announced a criminal investigation into 'partygate', as the scandal about alleged breaches of Coronavirus regulations by politicians and public officials at…

COVID-19+3

Weekly Update 21 January 2022

Weekly Update 21 January 2022 Dear Friends, This week brought good news for the Rule of Law. The House of Lords voted down all but one of the late-stage amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill that were introduced by the government without sufficient opportunity for substantive scrutiny by Parliament. The Bingham Centre recommended such action in response to Rule of Law concerns in our report last week on the Bill. However, despite this good news, this week's Update…

COVID-19+1

Weekly Update 14 January 2022

Weekly Update 14 January 2022 Dear Friends, A New Year, but not a fresh start, as the same Rule of Law story dominates the headlines: has the Government regarded itself as above the law that it has laid down for the rest of us? Two years on from the start of the pandemic, the Prime Minister apologised in the House of Commons on Wednesday for his attendance at a gathering in the 10 Downing Street garden at the height of the first lockdown on 20 May 2020. The affair may prove to be a stress…

EUROPE+1

Weekly Update 17 December 2021

Weekly Update 17 December 2021 Dear Friends, It has been a dramatic week. The UK Government's cavalier attitude to the Rule of Law was partly responsible for the collapse in the Prime Minister's political authority over his own MPs on Tuesday, as almost 100 of them voted against the latest Coronavirus measures, amidst mounting anxiety that the system for making such significant laws in a hurry is no longer fit for purpose. And the growing sense that the Government considers itself above…

CITIZENSHIP+8

Weekly Update 10 December 2021

Weekly Update 10 December 2021 Dear Friends, As England enters 'Plan B' restrictions in response to the Omicron COVID-19 variant, reports of a Christmas party at Downing Street last year when London was under 'Tier 3' restrictions on indoor gatherings have prompted commentators to ask a fundamental Rule of Law question: is there one rule for No 10 and another for the rest of the country? The affair is the latest in a string of events, which have been analysed by the Bingham Centre since…

EUROPE+2

School Exclusions and The Rule of Law

School Exclusions and The Rule of Law Introduction Lord Bingham stated that equality is a key principle of the rule of law, arguing that everyone should receive the equal benefit of the law as well as be held equally accountable before it. Throughout 2020, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, together with the Oxford University Centre for Global History, held a series of expert roundtables on 'Achieving Racial Justice and Equality Before the Law'. Further roundtables are planned and together,…

CITIZENSHIP

Weekly Update 3 December 2021

Weekly Update 3 December 2021 Dear Friends, This week the Bingham Centre published a set of papers from our year-long research project on data-driven responses to public health emergencies. In a week where the Omicron variant of Coronavirus has dominated news headlines, we summarise the main findings of this project. This Update also brings news of our current work on scrutiny of UK COVID-19 legislation, and a publication on the regulation of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making…

COVID-19+3

Weekly Update 26 November 2021

Weekly Update 26 November 2021 Dear Friends, This morning brought news headlines of a significant Coronavirus variant, B.1.1.529, which has been identified in Southern Africa. While this intensifies the public health crisis in that region, already the worst affected on the African continent, the rest of the world is moving swiftly to counter the spread of this variant. The 'red-listing' travel restrictions announced by the UK government have been matched by similar measures taken by many other…

COVID-19+2

Expert analysis of the applicability of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights to the constitutional courts of the States Parties, requested by the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights in the context of the case K 6/21

Executive Summary This expert analysis considers the applicability of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to the constitutional courts of the States Parties. Article 6 ECHR guarantees the right to a fair trial before a tribunal established by law for individuals whenever their civil rights and obligations or criminal liabilities are in question. The States Parties to the Convention have explicitly granted the European Court of Human Rights the competence to interpret…

EUROPE+1

Weekly Update 19 November 2021

Weekly Update 19 November 2021 Dear Friends, On Monday 22 November, the Bingham Centre will hold an event in Belfast, on the topic of the UK Government's Legacy Proposals and the Rule of Law. The Legacy Proposals include a statute of limitations, preventing investigations and prosecutions on all Troubles-related incidents in Northern Ireland, as well as a bar on all civil claims and inquests arising out of the Troubles. This week, a bipartisan group of 21 members of the US Congress published…

CITIZENSHIP+2

Weekly Update 5 November 2021

Weekly Update 5 November 2021 Dear Friends, The Rule of Law was once again front and centre in UK news this week, as the Government appeared to seek to avoid the application of the rules for upholding parliamentary standards to one of the governing party's former ministers. One of the central and most easily understood ideas inherent in the Rule of Law is that laws and rules apply to everyone, including the Government. Governments which seek to avoid the rules applying to them demonstrate…

CITIZENSHIP+2

Weekly Update 29 October 2021

Weekly Update 29 October 2021 Dear Friends, In a week which saw the EU's Rule of Law stand-off with Poland come to a head, and the UK House of Commons debate for the first time the Government's Judicial Review and Courts Bill, we are reminded of how fundamentally important the Rule of Law is to the health and well-being of democratic societies. The invisible underpinning that it provides to democracy has been taken for granted for so long that we need to ensure that we remain vigilant…

CITIZENSHIP+3

Modifying Retained EU law in the UK: Increasing Rule of Law Concerns?

This post has been cross-posted  with the kind permission of the RECONNECT blog.  Introduction Despite withdrawal from the EU, the UK remains committed to constitutional values that are also found in Article 2 TEU. Indeed, the EU-UK future relationship is predicated upon both parties upholding fundamental rights and the Rule of Law . In the European Union (Withdrawal) Act (EU(W)A) 2018 , the UK government decided to keep all EU law in force in the UK after Brexit as a…

EUROPE+2

Weekly Update 22 October 2021

Weekly Update 22 October 2021 Dear Friends, This week, we held our first live panel discussion for 18 months - on the subject of ​​Build Back Better: Online Civil Justice after the Pandemic. ​​To examine the rapid spread of online court proceedings, and discuss their future after the pandemic, we worked with the City of London Corporation and the Magna Carta Trust to bring together a panel of distinguished speakers from the judiciary, legal profession and civil society. The event took…

CITIZENSHIP+3

Weekly Update 15 October 2021

Weekly Update 15 October 2021 Dear Friends, Rule of Law principles provide a valuable framework for scrutiny of legislation, policy and practice, whether the context is emergencies such as the Coronavirus pandemic, or longstanding challenges facing society. This week, we bring you news of our engagement with UK Coronavirus legislation, Black History Month and the UK legal profession, European debates about rebuilding the Rule of Law in illiberal democracies and reviewing counter-terrorism…

CITIZENSHIP+4

Weekly Update 8 October 2021

Weekly Update 8 October 2021 Dear Friends, The Coronavirus pandemic has severely tested all branches of Government. On the Parliamentary front, we bring you news of our joint webinar on Parliamentary Review of the Coronavirus Act 2020: Scrutiny Delayed, or Scrutiny Denied?, which will take place on 14th October, in the run-up to a debate in which Parliament must decide on the future of this far-reaching Act. The Executive branch of Government, and new agencies such as NHS Test and Trace,…

CITIZENSHIP+3

Weekly Update 1 October 2021

Weekly Update 1 October 2021 Dear Friends, The Bingham Centre welcomes the initiative of the Scottish Government in setting out proposals to establish a public inquiry into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. In this week's Update we share our submission on the scope of the Scottish inquiry, in which we emphasised that it should examine Rule of Law issues. We also bring you news of an inquiry submission on Closed Material Procedures, our public engagement activities in schools,…

CITIZENSHIP+4

Submission to Closed Material Procedures Review

Building on our project Opening Up Closed Judgments: Secrecy, Security and Accountability, the joint Bingham Centre and University of York submission made in June 2021 to Sir Duncan Ouseley's review of the use of Closed Material Proceedings sets out the serious Rule of Law concerns that CMPs continue to raise.  The submission puts forward 14 substantive recommendations for reform to the current framework and procedures to ensure increased compliance with Rule of Law standards,…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS+1

Weekly Update 24 September 2021

Weekly Update 24 September 2021 Dear Friends, It is with great sadness that we learnt this week of the death of Jonathan Cooper OBE, a renowned advocate for human rights worldwide and a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Among his many roles, Jonathan co-founded the Human Dignity Trust, which uses law to defend LGBT rights globally, and served as the first Director of Training at the Bingham Centre during 2011-2012. His pioneering Rule of Law training programmes reached audiences from…

COVID-19+1

Weekly Update 17 September 2021

Weekly Update 17 September 2021 Dear Friends, This is our first Update since the summer break. As the UK prepares to host the COP26 Climate Conference in November, we are mindful that the Rule of Law has a part to play in tackling the planet-wide problems caused by human climate change. Combatting and mitigating the climate crisis requires more than bold ideas. It also requires effective forms of accountability, to ensure that agreed actions are implemented and sustained. In other words,…

EUROPE+2

The Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill - A Rule of Law Analysis

Executive Summary This report provides a Rule of Law analysis of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.  To avoid duplication with briefing reports published by the Joint Committee on Human Rights and Liberty, we have not addressed the human rights implications of the Bill in this report, although we note that there are valid concerns around the proportionality and necessity of provisions within the Bill, and whether the restrictions it contains can be said to be prescribed…

PARLIAMENTS

Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee inquiry: The institutional framework of the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement

This written evidence  has been re-published on the Bingham Centre website with the kind permission of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee . Executive Summary The TCA Partnership Council (PC) has the power to make legally binding decisions, and to oversee implementation and application. The Specialised Committees have the power to assist in this function. This extends to the development of the TCA in areas such as mutual recognition of professional qualifications,…

EUROPE+1

Weekly Update

The past 17 months have seen an unprecedented series of data-driven responses to the pandemic in the UK. People have been asked to trust and comply with intrusive measures including contact-tracing apps, risk-scoring algorithms for shielding and vaccination, and soon perhaps also "vaccine passports". What do members of the public think about these measures, and what conditions and safeguards do they see as necessary to justify their use? These questions were considered in two "citizen jury"…

#publichealth+1

Weekly Update

In a week which began with the Health Secretary's resignation reigniting the row about Dominic Cummings's apparently selective approach to Covid rules, and which also saw the former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, sentenced to prison by the South African Constitutional Court  for defying a court order, we have seen some powerful reminders that there is a simple and widely understood idea at the heart of the Rule of Law: This week saw an example with the UN General Assembly…

@UN_OCT

The Northern Ireland Protocol “Sausage Wars”: A case of “state civil disobedience”?

This piece is cross-posted with the kind permission of Verfassungsblog , with the piece originally appearing on 24th June 2021 The present political upheaval in Northern Ireland, which has seen Arlene Foster  and Edwin Poots  step down as leaders of the ruling Democratic Unionist Party in the last weeks, accompanies the ongoing legal stalemate on the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland (NIP). Five years after the Brexit referendum, the impasse between the…

@verfassungsblog

Scotland shows human rights leadership to “build back better”

The UN is calling on all countries to "build back better" from Covid 19 through placing economic, social and environmental rights and equality at the centre of all recovery efforts. In Scotland a National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership  has published a Report  containing 30 recommendations to do just that. The Scottish Government has accepted all of the recommendations and is now preparing a Bill for the Scottish Parliament to enact an ambitious new human rights framework…

@covid19+2

Weekly Update

At last week's excellent Constitution Unit conference on Boris Johnson's constitutional reform agenda, the Lord Chancellor  had a lot to say about the Rule of Law: "as the minister leading the Ministry of Justice, I believe it is incumbent upon me to ensure that the rule of law itself cannot be misused to in effect weaponise the courts against political decision making. It is worthwhile, therefore, to examine precisely what is meant by that term 'the rule of law'.In the modern context…

@BinghamCentre+1

The Rule of Law and Climate Action

The Rule of Law and Climate Action - Interview with Guy Beringer CBE Guy Beringer CBE is Co-Chair of the Bingham Centre Development Board and was formerly the Senior Partner of Allen & Overy.  In this interview he speaks to Richard Lui, MSNBC / NBC presenter, as part of Climate Action Live 2021, an event which featured speakers including Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders; Sir Richard Branson and Jude Law.  Climate Action…

GOVERNMENT+1

Vaccine passports must be legislated for properly through Parliament

This piece is cross-posted  with the kind permission of Prospect Magazine, with the piece originally appearing on 28th May 2021. Parliament has been marginalised in the implementation of much policy during this pandemic. Vaccine passports present an opportunity to change that. In the past few weeks, a limited vaccine passport scheme has been introduced in England, Scotland and Wales, in which individuals can now request documentation proving their vaccination status. The scheme…

@prospect_uk

Managing Global Supply Chains in a Post-Covid World

Managing Global Supply Chains in a Post-Covid World Event - Tags Share Links Event - Timings and Location Event Details Sponsored by Jones Day Foundation and organised by the Bingham Centre in conjunction with Prospect Magazine, join this timely event  with speakers including Nick Beighton, CEO of ASOS, and Baroness Lola Young, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary…

BUSINESS

Ensuring greater protection for fundamental rights in developing EU counter-terrorism policies

This piece is cross-posted  with the kind permission of the RECONNECT project , with the piece originally appearing on 20th May 2021. While the global pandemic has reframed consideration of threats to safety and security, the attacks in France and Austria  are a reminder of the continued dangers from terrorism in Europe. The EU has played a pivotal role in developing European counter-terrorism law and policy since 2001. It has adopted over 200 counter-terrorism related…

EUROPE+1

The marginalisation of the House of Commons under Covid has been shocking; a year on, Parliament's role must urgently be restored.

A year ago today, the House of Commons returned to business transformed by Covid. Since March 2020, the public has lived under some of the UK's most restrictive peacetime laws, and to support the economy public money has been spent on a vast scale. Yet parliamentary accountability for, and control over, these decisions has diminished to a degree that would have been unthinkable prior to the pandemic. One year on, with lockdown easing, the restoration of parliamentary control and functioning…

PARLIAMENTS

A new instrument to uphold the Rule of Law in EU Member States: the ‘Regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget’ and its contested implementation

This piece has been cross-posted with permission from the RECONNECT blog, where it was first published on 19 January 2021. A survey commissioned by the European Parliament  conducted in the 27 Member States shows that 77% of European Union (EU) citizens agree that EU funds should be made conditional upon the national government's implementation of the rule of law and of democratic values. On 16 December 2020, the EU adopted the "Regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the…

EUROPE+2

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis

Executive Summary The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill restricts prosecutions of service personnel and restricts legal claims against the Ministry of Defence and service personnel. This Report sets out Rule of Law concerns about the contents of the Bill.  The uncomfortable truths behind this Bill are that sometimes service personnel have been the subject of prolonged legal jeopardy, and sometimes service personnel have broken the laws of war.  Under…

GOVERNMENT+2

National implementation of human rights: Global survey of State implementation systems and processes

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, the Universal Rights Group, the University of Bristol and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are starting a new project to conduct, for the first time, a global survey to understand the systems and processes that States have put in place to implement their international human rights commitments. There is a significant burden on States to report to all relevant human rights bodies and to follow-up and implement their many decisions and recommendations.…

GOVERNMENT+1

BIICL Statement on Amendments to the UK Internal Market Bill

BIICL welcomes amendments made to the UK Internal Market Bill The British Institute of International and Comparative Law welcomes amendments made to the UK Internal Market Bill on Monday 9 November by the House of Lords that have removed a proposed power for Ministers to legislate "notwithstanding" international law. The proposed power amounted to a repudiatory breach of international obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement, a treaty which the UK freely entered into earlier this year. Compliance…

GOVERNMENT+1

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis of Clauses 42 to 45 (updated for Report Stage)

Executive Summary This Report sets out in brief the Bingham Centre's Rule of Law analysis of clauses 42 to 45 of the UK Internal Market Bill, to inform the consideration of those clauses by the House of Commons at the Bill's Report Stage on Tuesday 29th September. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland candidly admitted, before the Bill's introduction, that these clauses breach international law. However, the Government now claims differently. It seeks to argue that the clauses…

EUROPE+1

A Barrier against the new incoming tide? The UK Internal Market Bill and Dispute Resolution under the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (23 September update)

This piece is cross-posted with the kind permission of the UK Constitutional Law Association blog. The piece originally appeared on 17 September 2020 . This version has been updated in light of developments, and feedback received on the original version. The author is grateful to Steve Peers and Andrew Chapman in this regard. Brexit déjà vu On 14 September 2020, the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill ('UKIMB' or 'the Bill')  passed at Second Reading in the House of Commons. The…

EUROPE+2

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis of Clauses 42 to 45

Executive Summary  This Report sets out in brief the Bingham Centre's Rule of Law analysis of clauses 42 to 45 of the UK Internal Market Bill, to inform the consideration of those clauses by the House of Commons in Committee of the Whole House on Monday 21st September.  In clauses 42 to 45 of the Bill, the Government is asking Parliament to legislate in deliberate breach of the UK's international obligations. The Bill would authorise future breaches of international law by ministerial…

EUROPE

Prosecuting in the public interest: independence without isolation

In an essay to accompany an event on 18 September with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, outlines what independence means for the Crown Prosecution Service in an extraordinary 2020 and beyond, and how it intersects with the Service's other values and responsibilities. Drawing on the experiences of the past six months, he considers what it means to remain independent while also being collaborative, responsive…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The Rule of Law Online: Who Targets Me and What Does It Mean For My Rights?

The Rule of Law Online: Who Targets Me and What Does It Mean For My Rights? Event - Tags Share Links Event - Timings and Location      Event Details The Bingham Centre and the City of London are excited to be teaming up to run an event on technology, democracy and the Rule of Law. Whilst the Digital Age presents us with cutting-edge opportunities,…

CITIZENSHIP

The Rule of Law Online: Who Targets Me and What Does It Mean For My Rights?

On 15 September 2020 the Bingham Centre and the City of London teamed up to run an event on technology, democracy and the Rule of Law. Whilst the Digital Age presents us with cutting-edge opportunities, it also brings the potential for new social problems. How often do we pause to reflect on important questions such as "Which corporations are targeting me with misinformation?" "How can I avoid harm on public social media platforms?" "What new forms of technology are being developed and will…

CITIZENSHIP

Special Processes for the Reassessment and Removal of Judges in Constitutional Transitions

Societies in transition to constitutional democracy face a difficult choice when their courts are staffed with judges from a period of conflict or authoritarian rule. Should the existing judiciary be given security of tenure - the standard protection for judicial independence - or instead face a special process that will examine their past and possibly lead to the removal of those judges who are considered unwilling or unable to serve with integrity and competence in the new era? From…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis

Executive Summary The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill will end freedom of movement for EU citizens. Although the broad policy thrust of the Bill is clear, there is a conspicuous lack of detail. This undermines the Rule of Law value of legal certainty. Parliament is being asked to sign a blank cheque, leaving it to the Government to fill in the details later. The inclusion of very broad Henry VIII powers allowing the Secretary of State to make regulations…

EUROPE+2

“Social Distancing” of Emergency Legislation during the Covid-19 Pandemic

This piece has been cross-posted with the kind permission of the UKCLA blog . Ordinary legislation is different in its content and method of enactment from emergency legislation. But the risk is that the longer the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the less distinct these two types of law become, and that emergency legislation becomes the new normal. The structural solution proposed to this problem is "social distancing" of emergency legislation - that emergency laws are kept separate and…

GOVERNMENT+1

Nyasha Weinberg and Claudia Pagliari: Covid-19 reveals the need to review the transparency and independence of scientific advice

This piece was originally co-authored with Prof. Claudia Pagliari, Senior Lecturer in Primary Care and Informatics, the University of Edinburgh, for the UK Constitutional Law Association Blog . The tragedy of Covid-19 demonstrates the profound, life-saving, importance of good advice. It is essential that the governance system enables the best possible provision of scientific advice, a mechanism for correcting sub-optimal advice, and clarity around the difference between scientific…

GOVERNMENT

Dr Ronan Cormacain appearing before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Dr Ronan Cormacain, who leads our work monitoring legislation for Rule of Law compatibility, appeared before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the House of Commons this week to give evidence in its inquiry into the Government's response to Covid-19 and the use of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Committee were interested in hearing about the choice of legislative vehicle for the Government's exercise of powers: Coronavirus Act 2020, Public Health (Control of Disease)…

GOVERNMENT

America risks confusing the Rule of Law with Rule by Law

Last weekend Donald Trump proclaimed himself America's president of "law and order", going on to demand the protection of the "crown jewel of American democracy: the rule of law and our independent system of justice". Calls for the rule of law are a common refrain among Republican presidents, yet current events in the US present a vivid reminder of the need to strictly differentiate between rule of law, and rule by law. The preposition is key: "rule of law" requires equality before the law…

GOVERNMENT+1

Instinct or rules: making moral decisions in the Cummings scandal

This piece has been cross-posted  with the kind permission of the UK Constitutional Law Association Blog.  How should individuals conduct themselves during a public health emergency, and more specifically how much reliance should we have on "instinct" and "rules"? Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's chief adviser, has been accused of breaking the social distancing rules. The allegations revolve around travelling from London to Durham to isolate himself and his family, as…

GOVERNMENT+1

Squaring the PSPP Circle: How a ‘declaration of incompatibility’ can reconcile the supremacy of EU law with respect for national constitutional identity

The German Constitutional Court's PSPP judgment  held that the Court of Justice of the European Union's Weiss judgment  on the legality of Decisions of the European Central Bank (ECB) did not have legal effect within Germany because it lacks the 'minimum of democratic legitimation' necessary under the Basic Law. The merits of the judgment have been debated  extensively . This contribution proposes a novel mechanism to resolve the exposed fault-line  between the supremacy…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Can I go to the park please Dad? Everyday lessons in legal certainty in the English Coronavirus Regulations

This post analyses the changes made on 13 May 2020 to the coronavirus social distancing regulations  for England. The criterion for analysis is the basic Rule of Law requirement of legal certainty. Certainty allows us to plan our actions, lets the police know what it is they should be enforcing, and most importantly stops us from inadvertently breaking the law. The very limited case-study is the question posed in many households today - can I go to the park please Dad? The legislative…

GOVERNMENT

Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union: The EU-UK Joint Committee

This written evidence  has been re-published on the Bingham Centre website with the kind permission of the House of Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union. Executive Summary The key tasks that the Joint Committee and the Specialised Committees need to execute before the end of the transition period are determining the criteria for the functioning of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, implementing the citizens' rights provisions of the Withdrawal…

EUROPE

Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre announces its first research pre-calls

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (the Centre, or Modern Slavery PEC) has today issued its first two pre-calls for research proposals focused on the effects of Covid-19 on modern slavery and on survivor support. The Modern Slavery PEC was created by the investment of £10 million of public funding from the Strategic Priorities Fund to enhance understanding of modern slavery and transform the effectiveness of law and policies designed to overcome it. The Centre…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Parliament must legislate on the government’s plans for contact tracing apps

On 4 May the Joint Committee on Human Rights took evidence from the Information Commissioner, academics and the CEO of NHSX  on the risks to the right to privacy (Article 8 ECHR) if a contact tracing app is introduced to track and slow the spread of the coronavirus. This is helpful scrutiny of the government's plans. Yet if the government goes ahead with its proposed contact-tracing application it is essential that the processing of large amounts of personal data by the state, even if…

DIGITAL AGE+2

Unity and Diversity in National Understandings of the Rule of Law in the EU (Reconnect deliverable 7.1)

The working paper aims to show that the rule of law is not only one amongst the few overarching constitutional principles that can together be regarded as undergirding all legal systems in Europe, but it is also a constitutional principle whose core meaning is consensual and well-defined. The paper submits that there is now a broad legal consensus in Europe on the core meaning of this principle, its minimum components, and how it relates to other key values such as democracy and respect…

CITIZENSHIP+2

Public and Youth Engagement Programme

Young people should be equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active, participatory citizens. Our Public and Youth Engagement Programme is designed to do precisely that. The Bingham Centre has been a long-term contributor to citizenship education in the UK. We have produced award-winning textbooks , shared best practice at international conferences, and continue to convene a highly successful Massive Open Online Course  with over 10,000 students. This year…

CITIZENSHIP

Coronavirus Amendment Regulations: The Government’s dubious response to the ‘out out’ defence

Maintaining public confidence in the Government's response to the pandemic matters. Trust will drain away if we are not given the full story about amendments to the coronavirus legislation restricting our movements. The Rule of Law requires full disclosure. The comedian Micky Flanagan  has a routine about being 'out out' . The central gag is that he only went 'out' to do a bit of shopping, but was waylaid by a friend and ended up in a nightclub for the evening. But he wasn't…

GOVERNMENT

Covid-19: When is a rule not a rule?

There has been some confusion over the extent of the Government's legal powers in the Covid-19 lockdown, and the precise status of a "rule". There is a difference between regulation and legislation. Voermans argues that legislation is the constitutionally authoritative form in which law is made by the state. Regulation is much broader and means any public intervention in a market or in society. Legislation means banning smoking in enclosed public spaces. Regulation includes the…

GOVERNMENT+1

Parliament reopening will help the Government defeat COVID-19

Parliament's work in scrutinising Government is never more important than in a crisis. Emergencies sound the hour of the executive , where it plays an essential role in coordinating and delivering urgent support; this has certainly been the case with COVID-19, with Ministers granted additional powers to mobilise a rapid response to the lethal danger posed by the virus. While it is clear that special measures are required to cope with this extraordinary situation, it is essential to the…

GOVERNMENT+1

Brexit, Delegated Powers and Delegated Legislation: a Rule of Law Analysis of Parliamentary Scrutiny

Brexit has reopened long running debates over the impact of delegated powers and delegated legislation on Parliament's role in the legislative process. The legislative process in Parliament enables parliamentarians to hold the government to account for proposed changes to the statute book, to amend bills and to decide whether a government bill should be enacted. The government's reliance on delegated powers and delegated legislation to deliver Brexit has raised concerns that parliamentarians…

EUROPE+1

Hungary’s Coronavirus legislative response: indeterminate powers for an indeterminate period

The UK's legislative response to Covid-19 has been enacted in great haste, and its impact on the Rule of Law will no doubt continue to be debated in the months to come. However, it is clear that the Coronavirus Act 2020  contains some important Rule of Law safeguards. It has a sunset clause , meaning it will expire after 2 years. It allows Parliament the possibility to review  the Act after 6 months. The Secretary of State must lay reports  before Parliament every 2…

GOVERNMENT+1

Coronavirus Bill: A Rule of Law Analysis (Supplementary Report - House of Lords)

Executive Summary The Coronavirus Bill is a response to a genuine public health emergency and contains the most sweeping powers ever taken by the UK Government outside of wartime. There is absolutely no doubt that the Government needs to take swift and bold measures to protect citizens, and that some of these measures will unavoidably impinge upon personal liberties in a drastic way. The role of Parliament in scrutinising these measures is even more important during an emergency. Neither…

GOVERNMENT+1

Rule of Law Monitoring of Legislation - Coronavirus Bill

Executive Summary The Coronavirus Bill is a response to a genuine public health emergency and contains the most sweeping powers ever taken by the UK Government outside of wartime. There is absolutely no doubt that the Government needs to take swift and bold measures to protect citizens, and that some of these measures will unavoidably impinge upon personal liberties in a drastic way. The role of Parliament in scrutinising these measures is even more important during an emergency. Neither…

GOVERNMENT+1

The EU-UK Future Relationship and the Rule of Law

Executive Summary The EU and the UK have begun negotiating their future relationship. The two sides disagree over the structure of the agreement(s), the legal form of any commitments to maintain common standards, and dispute resolution. Each of these disagreements highlights the unprecedented nature of these negotiations: this is the first time the EU has negotiated an international agreement with a state after it has withdrawn from the EU through Article 50 TEU . The condensed…

EUROPE+1

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice - Study 2016

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice - Study 2016 Every two years, CEPEJ undertakes a regular process for evaluating judicial systems of the Council of Europe's member States. The Working Group on the evaluation of judicial systems (CEPEJ-GT-EVAL) which is in charge of the management of this process benefits from the support of scientific experts. Bingham Centre Maurice Wohl Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Julinda Beqiraj, contributed to the 2016 edition (2014…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Kosovo*

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Kosovo* In the framework of the Council of Europe's Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)/European Union Joint Action on "Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Kosovo", the CEPEJ is supporting Kosovo authorities in improving access to justice and promoting timely justice functioning with a high level of quality. Special focus is put on judicial data collection and management, with the support…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania (2018)

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania (2018)   In the framework of the Council of Europe's Commission on the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)/European Union Joint Action on "Strengthening the efficiency and quality of Justice in Albania" and in the context of the on-going reform process of the judiciary, CEPEJ is supporting Albanian authorities to increase the efficiency of the justice system in line with European standards. The Bingham Centre…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The EU-UK Future Relationship and the Rule of Law

On 9 March 2020 the Bingham Centre hosts the event 'Divergence and alignment: The Rule of Law implications of the future relationship with the EU' . This Comment piece sets out the key themes. The EU and the UK have begun negotiating their future relationship. The two sides disagree  over the structure of the agreement(s), the legal form of any commitments to maintain common standards, and dispute resolution. Each of these disagreements highlights the unprecedented nature of these…

EUROPE+1

Defending Democracy

For Justice Week 2020 (24-28 February), the Bar Council published a series of papers from different authors on key legal issues, each falling into one of the key themes of Justice Week. In his paper, 'Defending Democracy', Michael discusses the role of the law in protecting important democratic freedoms in the face of new, modern threats. We would like to thank our former Research Assistant Emma Lee for her assistance in copyediting the paper. Publication - Download…

CITIZENSHIP+1

The Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill: What’s Wrong with Retrospectivity?

Retrospectivity is rare in UK legislation. On average, perhaps one or two Bills a year enact a provision which goes back in time and takes effect before the Bill is made. When such provisions are used, they are generally curative, or something which is for the benefit of the individual to whom they apply. A curative retrospective provision will often "fix" an error in legislation - perhaps some unintended consequence, or some illogical outcome. They are also used to make things better…

SECURITY

Justice Week 2020

The Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and Law Society ran a week-long campaign from 24th - 28th February to promote access to justice and the Rule of Law called 'Justice Week'. The Bingham Centre was both a member of the advisory committee for the campaign and one of its leading participants. Michael Abiodun Olatokun led a series of activities that included the following: Monday 24th February- a panel discussion on the topic 'Can PLE Increase A2J'. The event was convened…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill A Rule of Law Analysis

This Report sets out the Bingham Centre's Rule of Law analysis of the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill, to inform the House of Commons' consideration of the Bill on Wednesday 12th February. The Bill has been introduced as "fast-track legislation" (ie. an emergency Bill) and will complete all its Commons stages in a single day.  The Bill is the Government's response to the recent terrorist attacks at Fishmongers' Hall and in Streatham, both committed by individuals…

SECURITY

Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill A Rule of Law Analysis: Executive Summary

This is the Executive Summary of the Bingham Centre's Rule of Law analysis of the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill (full report available here) , to inform the House of Commons' consideration of the Bill on Wednesday 12th February. The Bill has been introduced as "fast-track legislation" (ie. an emergency Bill) and will complete all its Commons stages in a single day.  The Bill is the Government's response to the recent terrorist attacks at Fishmongers'…

SECURITY

Tom Caygill and Jack Simson Caird: Constitutional Groundhog Day: The Post-legislative Review and Repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (hereafter the FTPA) removed the Prime Minister's power to unilaterally trigger a general election, extinguished the Monarch's prerogative power to dissolve Parliament and established a system of fixed-term (or semi-fixed) five-year Parliaments. Section 7 of the Act, a government concession following intense scrutiny in the House of Lords, requires the Prime Minister to "make arrangements for a committee to carry out a review of the operation of this Act…

GOVERNMENT+1

Consult beyond the usual suspects to renew the constitution

The Prime Minister has delivered on his General Election promise of "getting Brexit done". Having completed one totemic mission, he must now salve tensions that have been exposed by Brexit. The Queen's Speech contained a pledge to establish the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission to "develop proposals to restore trust in how our democracy operates". This is a tough ask. If this Commission is going to deliver then the Government should make sure that it is set up to empower citizens…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Citizenship and the Rule of Law Massive Open Online Course

Citizenship and the Rule of Law Massive Open Online Course Event - Tags Share Links Course Details BIICL and the Bingham Centre are proud to announce the launch of an exciting course called 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'. This six-week course communicates our expertise in human rights, Rule of Law and international law through video lectures, articles, assessments…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

The Bingham Centre has been a leading provider of public legal education to school students aged 11-18 since 2014. Alongside this work, the Centre has run short courses on the Rule of Law for legal practitioners and government officials. Developing this work, we have partnered with the University of London and Coursera to reach people around the world who can help to defend the Rule of Law in their contexts. 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Advancing Democracy and Human Rights'…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Launch of an exciting new course, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'

Launch of an exciting new course, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law' BIICL and the Bingham Centre are proud to announce the launch of an exciting course called 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'. This six-week course communicates our expertise in human rights, Rule of Law and international law through video lectures, articles, assessments and discussion forums. The initiative is aimed at lawyers, campaigners and students interested in learning more about the practical requirements of the…

CITIZENSHIP+1

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and the Rule of Law

The general election on 12 December 2019 has fundamentally changed the political dynamic driving the Brexit process. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (WAB), which will become law before 31 January 2020, has been substantially revised (from the version which was presented in October 2019) to reflect this Government's approach to Brexit. The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law has published a report  that looks in depth at some of the main Rule of Law issues in the WAB. This…

EUROPE+1

Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education

On 13th January 2020 the Bingham Centre convened an event hosted by Travers Smith LLP. "Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education" detailed major findings from the Bingham Centre's evaluation of its pioneering project teaching human rights and democracy in schools since 2014. The event also served as the launch event for a new Massive Open Online Course run collaboratively between the Bingham Centre, BIICL, the University of London and Coursera. Speakers for the…

CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education

Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education Event - Tags Share Links Event Details Since the Bingham Centre has pioneered a programme of Citizenship Education that has empowered over 36,000 young people to grow as active citizens, using the power of the law to effect social justice. Over 400 schools across England have delivered lessons…

CITIZENSHIP+1

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and the Rule of Law

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (WAB) is a Bill of paramount constitutional importance. The aim of this report is to examine a number of Rule of Law issues raised by the WAB. This report uses the Rule of Law checklist adopted by the Venice Commission in 2016 to inform its analysis of the WAB. These Rule of Law standards provide a guide to the core elements of the Rule of Law, for which consensus can be found amongst the 47 States of the Council of Europe. The Venice…

EUROPE+1

The infringement action against the UK for failing to nominate a new Commissioner

The further extension  of the UK's membership to 31 January sees the UK remain a Member State beyond the re-scheduled date of 1 December for the new Commission to assume office. This has prompted the incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to request the United Kingdom Prime Minister to nominate a Commissioner. On 13 November the United Kingdom informed  the European Commission that it would not appoint a new Commissioner before the national General Election on 12 December.…

EUROPE

A majority government will not guarantee constitutional stability

In UK general elections, the main political parties campaign to convince the electorate that they are deserving of a stable majority in the Commons. A stable majority is a pre-requisite to be able to deliver, via legislation, the policies promised in their manifestos. In this general election, each of the main parties are promising that they would use a majority to enact significant constitutional change to deliver their Brexit policies. In the Brexit context, this has led to a narrative that…

EUROPE+2

The ‘Brexit’ Parliament 2017-19

Amidst the sound and fury of the general election campaign, Dr Jack Simson Caird takes a step back to assess how the 'Parliament of two halves' contributed to the Brexit process The 2017 Parliament was brought to an end with the Prime Minister citing parliamentary opposition to Brexit in justification of an early general election. Parliament's role in the Brexit process has been a focal point of political debate since 2016, culminating in the 'People vs Parliament' narrative which is now…

EUROPE+1

Why the new Speaker may not always be able to play a straight bat

On 4 November, the House of Commons elected Lindsay Hoyle to serve as Speaker, following the resignation of John Bercow. It has been treated as accepted wisdom that a different approach to the Speakership is called for. However, Bercow has taken decisions about the Commons' handling of Brexit in circumstances where several - or all - of the available choices were potentially controversial. Jack Simson Caird argues that his successor might therefore find that trying to 'play a straight bat'…

EUROPE+1

Courts are becoming modern but may leave many behind

An ambitious programme of reform The UK stands on the precipice of legal reforms that will revolutionise the way that litigants interact with the justice system. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is implementing over fifty projects in a £1billion programme of reform  to "modernise and upgrade our justice system so that it works even better for everyone." Though disparate in scope and subject matter, each of these projects seeks to facilitate access to justice through…

CITIZENSHIP+1

The future of Europe (Bucharest)

'The future of Europe' conference (Bucharest) Event - Tags Share Links Event - Timings and Location Overview Rule of Law backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe remains worrisome. Recently, the Venice Commission expressed serious concerns about ongoing judicial reform in Romania, while the European Commission has locked horns with Poland over Judicial appointments,…

GOVERNMENT+1

The new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice within the UK

The United Kingdom will hold a General Election on 12 December 2019. The result may determine whether Boris Johnson's renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement that removed the Irish backstop comes into force. One issue that has not been as prominent in the debate is that the new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union within the United Kingdom.  The new Protocol  on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement between…

EUROPE

Catching up with the Debate: Artificial Intelligence & the Rule of Law

This piece  was originally co-authored with Gemma McNeil-Walsh for the RECONNECT blog . We are living in an age of profound technological advancements. For artificial intelligence - the development of systems that simulate human intelligence - it is still early days, but development is gathering pace. The opportunities and capacity for artificial intelligence (AI) to transform our public services, the economy, and areas such as medicine and education, are growing exponentially.…

DIGITAL AGE

Repatriating stolen assets in a responsible manner: how do we get there?

This Blog post reflects the author's contribution to an expert meeting on corruption, convened by the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) in the Hague in October 2019. As the World Bank just concluded its annual meeting  in Washington DC (18-20 October), and the anti-corruption community gears up for the 8th Conference of State Parties on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption  (UNCAC) this December in Abu Dhabi, there are a number of points which should be…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Increasing parliaments' engagement with human rights

Increasing parliaments' engagement with human rights  Event Details Enhancing the role of parliaments in the protection and realisation of human rights is emerging as a crucial way to bridge the "implementation gap" in human rights. Numerous parliaments around the world have started to prioritize human rights and engage with the UN human rights mechanisms,…

PARLIAMENTS

UN General Assembly Side Event on Parliaments and Human Rights

A side event at the UN General Assembly in New York on Increasing Parliaments' Engagement with Human Rights took place on Monday, 14 October 2019.  The side event was co-organized by the AHRC-funded Parliaments, Rule of Law and Human Rights research project led by Murray Hunt, Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Oxford, and the PI on the project. The side event was attended by approximately 70 people, including ambassadors…

PARLIAMENTS

No Deal Brexit, Business and the Rule of Law

The profound changes that would accompany a No Deal Brexit will transform the legal environment in which business operates, from changing the terms of trade relationships in Europe, to the structure of regulation and the content of laws. This paper explores the consequences for the Rule of Law for Business from these changes, by drawing on the perspectives of experts from the Bingham Centre's business network and other Brexit experts. Our interviews revealed that the search for certainty…

BUSINESS+1

Why the UK’s demands on the Irish Backstop would undermine the EU legal order

Introduction The UK Government and the European Union are renegotiating the Withdrawal Agreement. The former seeks the removal of the 'Irish Backstop' on the basis of its 'undemocratic character' which it claims infringes upon the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. The European Parliament has passed a resolution that it will not consent to any Withdrawal Agreement without an Irish Backstop, in direct contravention to the UK's position. The Prime Minister has asked the European Council President…

EUROPE

The Supreme Court and Parliament: The Constitutional Status of Checks and Balances

There have been two competing visions of the constitution battling it out since the Brexit referendum in 2016, which David Howarth described on this blog  as the Whitehall view and the Westminster view. The Whitehall view is that the UK constitution, and the relationship between Parliament and Government in particular, is designed to allow the Government of the day to deliver its promises to the electorate. Parliament's role is to scrutinise how those promises, as well the everyday decisions…

EUROPE+1

Credit Ratings Agencies and Rule of Law Data

The Bingham Centre is exploring how Rule of Law information systems capturing data on Rule of Law principles are used by Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs).  CRAs play a fundamental role as information brokers, with ratings conveying an assessment of a sovereign's or a corporate's creditworthiness. The Rule of Law is an important factor determining the willingness and likelihood that financial obligations will be upheld. As such, compliance with Rule of Law principles should flow through…

BUSINESS

Toward a Meaningful “Common African Position on Asset Recovery”

It's no secret that kleptocratic rulers in Africa have robbed their countries of substantial assets that could have otherwise been used to promote development and social welfare. Indeed, the amounts are often staggering: $16 billion  reportedly stolen by former Libyan President Gaddafi; $1 billion  by Gambia's ex-President Jammeh; billions by former Congolese President Kabila; and the list goes on. Recently, Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission suggested  that…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Our democracy will be enhanced by the Supreme Court’s prorogation ruling

The fact that the Supreme Court is scrutinising the legality of a decision taken by the prime minister is unusual. For some observers, its role this week in the latest Brexit drama is a sign that things have gone wrong with the UK constitution: judges should stay out of politics and stick to the law. The problem with this view is that it is premised on a rigid and outdated dichotomy between a "political" and a "legal" constitution. That crude distinction fundamentally misunderstands the dynamic…

EUROPE

Let’s not divide the Supreme Court into Leavers and Remainers: the need for a better understanding of our judiciary has never been greater

On 24 September 2019 the UK Supreme Court found unanimously that the Prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. The Judges have already been subjected to attacks on social media by the 'Leave.EU' campaign resorting to the notorious 'Enemies of the People'  headline used by the Daily Mail in 2016. Before the judgment Jan van Zyl Smit (Senior Research Fellow and Acting Deputy Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law) argued that we should not divide the Supreme Court into Leavers…

EUROPE+1

Process of discovery

What Brexit has taught us so far: with Parliament standing prorogued, the Commons Speaker gives a robust defence of Parliament's role as a check on executive 'malpractice' and pledges all the 'procedural creativity' necessary. On 12 September 2019, John Bercow MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, delivered the Annual Bingham Lecture , entitled 'Process of Discovery: what Brexit has taught us (so far) about Parliament, Politics and the UK Constitution' to a packed Middle Temple Hall.…

EUROPE+2

The Benn-Burt Extension Act: A roadblock to a No-deal Brexit?

Introduction: Extension and the Rule of Law On 9 September, the EU (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019   ('Benn-Burt Extension Act') received Royal Assent. The Benn-Burt Extension Act imposes a statutory duty upon the Prime Minister (if the relevant conditions are met) to request and accept an extension of the withdrawal negotiating period under Article 50(3) TEU. However, the Prime Minister has repeatedly stated  that he will not request such an extension, ostensibly in clear conflict…

EUROPE+2

Weekly Update

On 12 September, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP gave the Sixth Annual Bingham Lecture in Middle Temple Hall. The Speaker's Lecture was titled: 'Process of Discovery: What Brexit has taught us (so far) about Parliament, Politics and the UK Constitution'. The Speaker's lecture was live streamed and footage is available here . The lecture was covered by the Guardian, ITV news, the BBC, the Huffington Post and the Financial Times. The Speaker's lecture…

EUROPE+2

Sixth Annual Bingham Centre Lecture

Sixth Annual Bingham Lecture Event - Tags Share Links    Event Details The Sixth Annual Bingham Centre Lecture:  'Process of Discovery: What Brexit has taught us (so far) about Parliament, Politics and the UK Constitution' Date: 12 September 2019 Time: 18:00-19:00 (registration from 17:30), followed by a drinks reception Venue: Middle…

EUROPE

Sixth Annual Bingham Lecture

On 12 September, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP gave the Sixth Annual Bingham Lecture in Middle Temple Hall. The Speaker's Lecture was titled: 'Process of Discovery: What Brexit has taught us (so far) about Parliament, Politics and the UK Constitution'. The Speaker's lecture was live streamed and footage will be available on our website in due course. The lecture was covered by the Guardian , ITV news , the BBC , the Huffington Post  and the…

EUROPE+2

Brexit and the UK Political and Constitutional Crisis: Prorogation and the Case for Constitutional Reform

The Government's decision to prorogue Parliament on 9 September (the Brexit Prorogation) has exposed an uncomfortable truth: the UK constitution does not provide strong legal limits on some of the executive's most constitutionally significant powers. The legality of the government's decision to request a prorogation will be determined by the Supreme Court on 19 September. Whether or not the Supreme Court decides that the government's decision was unlawful, the Brexit prorogation has highlighted…

EUROPE+1

In a Democracy the Rule of Law means Parliament is supreme over the Executive

Murray Hunt considers why the Rule of Law is relevant to the current constitutional confrontation between the UK Government and Parliament Whenever the political temperature rises dramatically, invocation of the Rule of Law is seldom far behind. It is frequently enlisted by both sides in a political dispute, as a high-minded weapon to deploy on political opponents. All too often it is used in a rhetorical way, to lend extra weight to a political argument that the other side are doing something…

EUROPE+2

The Brexit Prorogation: an unsustainable constitutional confrontation

Jack Simson Caird explains the strategic logic of the decision to prorogue Parliament. He writes that the government seems to be seeking confrontation with Parliament not just over Brexit, but over different visions of the constitution and democracy. So, unlike May's Government, Johnson's is willing to deploy all the means at its disposal in order to realise its visions. The government's decision to prorogue Parliament between 9-12 September to 14 October is based on overlapping strategic…

EUROPE+1

EU's rule-of-law blueprint: two out of three is not enough

EU's rule-of-law blueprint: two out of three is not enough This was originally published by the EU Observer on 30 July 2019 There is plenty to welcome in the European Commission's blueprint for action on the rule of law, published this month in response to consultation.  Of its three sections - promoting a rule of law culture, prevention and enforcement - the first is hard to fault. However, the other two both have significant gaps. In particular, the document fails to even discuss…

GOVERNMENT

Mercosur's New Framework Agreement Is an Asset Recovery Landmark, But Significant Flaws Remain

This comment piece was first published in the Global Anti-Corruption Blog (GAB) - see here . In asset recovery, international collaboration is key. In December 2018, four Mercosur countries—Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—adopted  a new kind of landmark framework agreement  to collaborate in investigations and sharing of forfeited assets resulting from transnational organized crime, corruption, and illicit drug trafficking. The agreement's provisions on law enforcement…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

APPG on the Rule of Law: The EU Settlement Scheme

Background On Tuesday 16 July 2019, the APPG for the Rule of Law met to discuss the Rule of Law implications of the EU Settlement Scheme. The meeting was convened to discuss a new Public Law Project report, authored by Dr Joe Tomlinson, titled 'Quick and Uneasy Justice: An Administrative Justice Analysis of the EU Settlement Scheme'  which offers an end-to-end administrative justice analysis of the design, and thus the underpinning values, of the Scheme. Dominic Grieve QC MP chaired a…

DIGITAL AGE+1

Accountable Asset Return and the Rule of Law

Various sources and figures are often provided to show the scale of assets plundered by kleptocratcs and hidden overseas. The World Bank estimates that around US$ 8 billion in stolen funds have been frozen, adjudicated, or returned to affected countries since the early 1980s. One of the more pressing issue concerns the return of these stolen assets and the possibility that these repatriated funds be used to foster socio-economic development. Against this backdrop, the Sustainable Development…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

APPG on the Rule of Law: The Rule of Law Implications of the EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme: the Rule of Law Implications The creation of the EU Settlement Scheme, a consequence of the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union, is said to set 'the tone for the design and values' of the new post-Brexit immigration system. While much has been written about the substantive legal changes this entails, a new Public Law Project report, authored by Dr Joe Tomlinson, titled 'Quick and Uneasy Justice: An Administrative Justice Analysis of the EU Settlement…

DIGITAL AGE+1

Are we in a constitutional crisis or is this the UK constitution at work?

Are we in a constitutional crisis or is this the UK constitution at work? The referendum result in 2016 represented the beginning of a process of constitutional change in the UK. How the UK's uncodified constitution will be changed, or even whether the UK will leave the EU at all, is currently uncertain. If the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019, then the UK constitution and its three legal systems will change significantly on exit day. The nature of the change that takes place on exit day…

EUROPE

Prime Minister announces new Modern Slavery Centre to be led by the Bingham Centre

Today the Prime Minister announced an ambitious new Policy and Evidence Centre on Modern Slavery to be led by the Bingham Centre The Prime Minister has today announced the investment of £10million of public funding from UK Research and Innovation's Strategic Priorities Fund to create an ambitious new Policy and Evidence Centre on Modern Slavery and Human Rights. The Centre's job will be to bring about a step change in our understanding of modern slavery and to transform the effectiveness…

GOVERNMENT+1

Parliament must act quickly to exert influence if it wishes to prevent a ‘no deal’ Brexit

In four months' time, the extension to the Article 50 period agreed in April will expire. The UK will have a new Prime Minister by then, although it remains unclear what position they will take if the Commons continues to refuse to approve the Withdrawal Agreement. Jack Simson Caird analyses the legal and political mechanisms available should parliament seek to prevent the next Prime Minister taking the UK out of the EU without a deal. Boris Johnson has said that if he is the next Prime Minister…

EUROPE+1

Restricting Foreign Direct Investment: the Rule of Law argument

This article was originally published in SC Magazine and on the Information Law and Policy Centre's website. Should companies based in authoritarian countries be permitted to invest in sensitive areas of another country's economy? 5G technology promises to be truly revolutionary. Not only will it make data-intensive communications virtually instantaneous, but it has the potential to unlock the 'internet of things'. 5G could connect super high-speed internet, with almost no time lag,…

BUSINESS+2

Jack Simson Caird on BBC Parliament

Jack Simson Caird was interviewed on BBC Parliament's the Week in Parliament on whether Parliament can block a No Deal Brexit on 31 October 2019. 

EUROPE

Rule of Law Capacity Building for Business

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law is developing Rule of Law Capacity Building for in-house lawyers and senior managers. This comprises a 1-1.5 hour training session, designed to support legal teams to identify ROL issues or risks within the business, and develop practical solutions to address ROL challenges in jurisdictions where they operate. Share LinksProject - Tags

BUSINESS

Opening Up Closed Judgments

It is increasingly common for closed material procedures (CMPs) to be used in civil cases where national security issues arise. Judgments in these cases will be closed and not available to the public, some of the parties, or some of the lawyers. Over time, though, there may not be grounds for closure because the danger to national security will pass. However, the law does not presently provide for review of judgments to see if they might later be opened. This project aims to remedy that…

SECURITY

Citizenship Revocation

Revoking a person's citizenship on national security grounds is among the most controversial of powers that governments exercise. On 10 May 2019 the Bingham Centre hosted an expert roundtable that considered these powers. It was held to assist the work of the Australian Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick SC, who was conducting a review of citizenship revocation provisions in that country. Experts from academia, the legal profession and civil society…

SECURITY

Investigatory Powers

In the UK police and security services have extensive investigatory powers. There has been much controversy about the scope and limits of the powers, the exercise of the powers, and the accountability of the agencies involved. The Bingham Centre has contributed to parliamentary and publid debate on these matters, especially with regard to the review and reform of the laws. Strands of our work include: The Review of Powers Exercised under the Investigatory Powers Act (2019) Under the Act,…

SECURITY

NMIRFs: National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting, and Follow-Up

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) provides informed, independent and practical legal ideas for a global community. Its high quality and respected work involves analysis and debate about contemporary issues on every continent, from its base in the heart of London's energetic and multicultural legal network. BIICL has been making an influential impact since its foundation in 1958, and it can trace its history even further back to 1894. It is one of the very…

GOVERNMENT

Official Secrets: Law Commission Consultation on the Protection of Official Data

In 2017 the Law Commission of England & Wales published a consultation paper, The Protection of Official Data. It explored options for a major overhaul of the law relating to official secrets, including the offences for unauthorised disclosure of official data, the procedures for prosecution, and the possibility of enacting a public interest defence (or whistleblower laws).   The Bingham Centre's lead on security and the rule of law, Dr Lawrence McNamara, has worked with Professor…

SECURITY

The Rule of Law Should be Taught in Schools

The Bingham Centre is part of a consortium of institutions running 'RECONNECT', a four-year multidisciplinary research project on 'Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law'. In this RECONNECT post, Michael Abiodun Olatokun underscores the important role that human rights education can serve in solidifying the rule of law.  This post first appeared on the EU Reconnect website .Poland and Hungary are new democracies where a developing rule of law culture…

CITIZENSHIP

APPG on the Rule of Law: Can Parliament stop a no deal Brexit?

APPG on the rule of Law: Can parliament stop a no deal Brexit? A recent Institute for Government comment arguing that Parliament would not be able to stop a Prime Minister determined to deliver no deal has provoked significant debate. This roundtable is being convened to debate the argument advanced in the comment piece and to consider the possible steps that Parliament could take to prevent a no deal exit. Chair Dominic Grieve QC MP, Chair of the APPG on the Rule of Law…

EUROPE+1

Brexit and the constitution: seven lessons

This article originally appeared in the June issue of Counsel and is reprinted with permission. Brexit can plausibly be described as a 'constitutional moment'. The decision to leave the EU will shape the UK constitution over the coming decades. Even if the full extent of the constitutional changes that will flow from Brexit are not yet known, future Prime Ministers will be defined (in part, at least) by their ability to oversee successful constitutional reform. The post-referendum period has…

EUROPE

Data Protection Impact Assessments as Rule of Law Governance Mechanisms

Rule of Law principles are essential for a fair and just society, and apply to government activities regardless of whether those activties are undertaken by a human or automated data processing. This paper by Swee Leng Harris, Bingham Centre Senior Policy Adviser, explores how Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) could provide a mechanism for improved Rule of Law governance of data processing systems developed and used for public purposes. Applying Rule of Law principles to two…

DIGITAL AGE+1

Jack Simson Caird on All Out Politics on Sky News with Adam Boulton

Jack Simson Caird appeared on All Out Politics on Sky News with Adam Boulton to discuss the parliamentary dynamics of getting the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill through the Commons.

EUROPE

France’s New Asset Recovery Bill Is an Important Step Toward Achieving Victim Compensation

This comment piece was first published in the Global Anti-Corruption Blog (GAB) - see here. Where asset recovery is concerned, France is probably best known for the conviction of Teodorin Obiang—the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea and son of the President—for money laundering (the first time that a French court has convicted a serving senior official of a foreign government), which resulted in the court ordering the forfeiture of some of Obiang's assets, worth around USD 150 million.…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

APPG on the Rule of Law: Data Processing and the Rule of Law

EVENTS APPG on the rule of Law: Data Processing and the rule of law  Event Details When government decisions are made about individuals' rights using data processing, it can be hard for an individual to know whether their data were accurate or processed correctly. Transparency and accountability in the adoption and operation of data processing and automated decision-making can help improve trust in such technology and enable it to function more effectively. This…

DIGITAL AGE+1

Briefing Paper, INSLM Citizenship Revocation Roundtable, 10 May 2019

Briefing Paper, INSLM Citizenship Revocation Roundtable, London, 10 May 2019 Authors:  Office of the Australian Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Roundtable date: 10 May 2019 Publication date:  10 May 2019 Related projects Citizenship Revocation   Related publications Summary Report of INSLM Citizenship Revocation Roundtable, London, 10 May 2019  Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY

Summary Report of INLSM Citizenship Revocation Roundtable, London 10 May 2019

Summary Report, INSLM Citizenship Revocation Roundtable, London 10 May 2019 Authors:  Jessie Blackbourn, Lawrence McNamara, Toni Brunton-Douglas Roundtable date:  10 May 2019 Publication date: 10 May 2019 Related projects Citizenship Revocation  Related publications Briefing Paper, INSLM Citizenship Revocation Roundtable, London 10 May 2019  Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY

Jack Simson Caird gave oral evidence to the House of Commons' Liaison Committee

Jack Simson Caird gave oral evidence to the House of Commons' Liaison Committee in its inquiry into how select committees can improve their scrutiny of Government Jack's evidence focused on how Select Committees could improve their scrutiny of the Brexit process, and in particular how the lessons from the Article 50 process could be used to improve scrutiny of the negotiations on the future relationship. You can see clips of Jack's evidence here, watch the full session, read his written submission…

EUROPE

World Justice Forum 2019 Concluding Declaration

World Justice Forum participants reaffirm their commitment to justice for all Emphasizing the commitment to justice that every government has made through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Sustainable Development Goal 16; Noting the findings of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies and its Task Force on Justice, that 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally, including people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems,…

BUSINESS

Brexit: Is the UK’s ‘Constitutional Moment’ here at last?

This article was originally published on the UK Human Rights Blog. Codified constitutions are most commonly adopted following a major schism with the previous order. For example, following an armed uprising such as the American War of Independence or the French Revolution. The sweeping away of the old regime, of necessity, demands the creation of new fundamental principles and rules to organise the State. A codified constitution also presents an opportunity to set out the core values on which…

EUROPE

Zuckerberg is right: Third-party standards must govern online speech

Published in VentureBeat  on 6 April 2019. While some lawmakers and privacy advocates have criticised Mark Zuckerberg's recent call for greater government oversight, deeming it PR-driven and self-serving, the proposal he outlined goes a long way toward reforming an issue of enormous significance in the tech space. He advocates for third-party content standards, which would sharply reduce Facebook and other companies' power to decide what constitutes protected speech. Freedom of speech,…

BUSINESS+1

Ulysses Smith chairs the Online Advertising, Human Rights and the Rule of Law at NYU Stern in New Yo

Ulysses Smith chaired the Bingham Centre's event on Online Advertising, Human Rights and the Rule of Law at NYU's Stern School of Business, which considered the human rights and Rule of Law implications of online advertising This discussion considered the human rights implications of current online advertising practices, and how advertisers, internet platforms, and advertising companies can be expected to address these risks. Advertisers face potential reputational risks when brands are associated…

BUSINESS

APPG on the Rule of Law: Parliament, Brexit and the Rule of Law

'Brexit, Parliament and The Rule of Law: extending Article 50 and implementing the Withdrawal Agreement' 'Brexit, Parliament and The Rule of Law: extending Article 50 and implementing the Withdrawal Agreement' This meeting considered the events leading up to 29 March and discussed Rule of Law challenges facing Parliament. Chair Dominic Grieve QC MP, Chair of the APPG on the Rule of Law Speakers Professor Kenneth Armstrong, Professor of European Law at the University…

EUROPE+1

Jack Simson Caird being interviewed by Adam Boulton on Sky News

Jack Simson Caird, Senior Research Fellow in Parliaments and the Rule of Law, spoke to Adam Boulton on Sky News about the second round of indicative votes designed to ascertain the level of support in the Commons for a range of Brexit options Jack predicted that it is very hard to see this Parliament legislating its way out of the situation. All the main options other than no deal need legislation: the Prime Minister's deal, a referendum, or revocation of Article 50. The only options that…

EUROPE

The emergence and coming of age of National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting and Follow up

This post first appeared in the URG Blog, republished here with kind permission.  Co-authored by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group. One of the most promising yet least-studied and least-understood developments for the universal human rights 'project' (as Sir Nigel Rodley coined it) is the emergence and early development over the past three or four years of so-called 'national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up' (NMIRFs). These standing bodies,…

GOVERNMENT

The Bercow Bombshell: Political Constitutionalism in Action

This week, like the last and probably the next, the constitutional and political drama in the Brexit process reached new heights. The week began with a statement  from the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP. The Speaker took many by surprise by invoking a precedent that has existed since 1604: that once the Commons has rejected a motion or Bill, the proposition in question should not be re-introduced in the same parliamentary session. The Speaker's intervention, both in terms…

PARLIAMENTS

Jack Simson Caird on BBC World News’ coverage of the Meaningful Vote on the Brexit deal

Jack Simson Caird's appearance on the BBC World News' coverage of the Meaningful Vote on the Brexit deal in the House of Commons Jack discussed the likely impact on the meaningful vote of the Attorney General's advice on whether the additional agreements with the EU changed the legal risk of the UK being unable to exit from the Northern Ireland backstop.

EUROPE

MPs’ powers of persuasion are shaping the Brexit endgame

This week has been a momentous one for the Brexit endgame in the Commons. There is a growing sense of frustration and bewilderment at the lack of progress being made by MPs. However, it is worth taking a step back and seeing this week's events in the wider context of the relationship between the government and the Commons which has been evolving and adapting to the unique circumstances of Brexit. In a UK in a Changing Europe and Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law report published this week ,…

EUROPE+1

Can Non-Conviction based (NCB) asset forfeiture be compliant with the Rule of Law? (Briefing Paper)

Non Conviction-based (NCB) asset forfeiture (also called 'civil forfeiture') is a powerful tool at the disposal of governments to tacle the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime. While NCB provides some advantages compared to criminal forfeiture, it has also been severely criticised because it undermines key constitutional protections and human rights. Project Report This short briefing paper summarises the research findings from research published here. The project reviews how 'developing…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Murray Hunt at the House of Lords EU Justice Committee in its inquiry into Rights after Brexit

Murray Hunt appeared before the House of Lords EU Justice Committee in its inquiry into Rights after Brexit. The Committee is examining the future framework for and potential risks to rights after Brexit. My evidence focused on the risk of compounding the legal uncertainty already caused by Brexit by unnecessarily sowing seeds of doubt about the future of the Human Rights Act. I contrasted this with the post-Brexit human rights leadership being demonstrated in Scotland and by the Foreign…

EUROPE

Brexit Votes Explained UK in a Changing Europe and Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law report

The report sets out what affects MPs' influence and shows that there could be no deal if members of parliament continue to vote against everything. Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

EUROPE

The House of Commons’ Last Chance at Taking Back Control?

On Wednesday 27 February, MPs will have another opportunity to debate an amendable motion on the Government's approach to Brexit. The debate on Wednesday is likely to focus on the plan put forward by Yvette Cooper MP (Labour) and Oliver Letwin MP (Conservative). They want MPs to have a legally binding say on whether the Prime Minister seeks an extension to Article 50's two-year negotiating period. An amendment on Wednesday (if passed) would make time for legislation to achieve this. This post…

EUROPE+1

Murray Hunt's closing remarks at Remaking the UK Constitution, Mansfield College, Oxford

Murray Hunt, in his closing remarks at the conference (from 2:00:08) proposes the initiation of an inclusive deliberative process in each of the four nations of the UK on the specific question of whether human rights protection can be enhanced post-Brexit

EUROPE

Could the UK Courts Disapply Domestic Legislation to Enforce the Protocol on Ireland and N.Ireland?

If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, then Parliament will be asked to legislate to give domestic legal effect to its content through the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill. One of the most significant provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, Article 4, purports to give the entire contents of the Withdrawal Agreement special status within the UK's constitutional order. Even though the UK would no longer be a Member State, the effect of Article 4 (if implemented) would be to give all of the laws…

EUROPE

Judicial Vetting: The Forgotten Aspect of Argentina’s Transition

This comment was first published on the Opinio Iuris blog on 18 February 2019. Argentina is a well-known case of transitional justice. From the pioneering 1984 truth commission and the prosecutions that had to be rolled back due to military backlash, to the expansive trials of crimes against humanity since 2005, Argentina's responses to the human rights violations of the 1976-83 dictatorship have been widely reported. However, there is one facet of the human rights policy adopted…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The meaningful vote process has failed us

This was originally published in the UK in a Changing Europe blog  on 18 February 2019, republished here with kind permission. The Commons votes on January 29 marked the conclusion of the meaningful vote process. Ever since we have been in limbo. At the very moment when MPs and the government are searching for a way of reaching a consensus to break the Brexit deadlock, it appears our established constitutional procedures, and the ones we have created to deal with Brexit, have failed to…

EUROPE

Non-Conviction based forfeiture and the Rule of Law

Non-Conviction based (civil) asset forfeiture mechanisms (NCB) is tool that some states have put in place to tackle the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime. While Article 54(1)(c) of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) encourages member states to allow confiscation without criminal conviction, NCB  attracts considerable criticism as it arguably clashes with human rights and due process protections. This project, which ran from 2018 to early 2019, explored…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Resolving the Brexit impasse UK in a Changing Europe and Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law report

There are disputes over territory in almost every region of the world, sometimes leading to escalations and violence between States and threatening international peace and security. International law requires States to refrain from the threat or use of force and to attempt to settle their disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace, security and justice are not endangered. In June 2018 the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) has completed…

EUROPE

Waging War Against Corruption in Developing Countries: How Asset Recovery Can be Compliant with the Rule of Law

It is often said that criminals hardly ever mind financial penalties if they get caught, but on the other hand, they fear losing tangible assets. This is the underlying rationale for asset forfeiture approaches: forfeiting property can be a powerful detractor for crime and corruption. Assume that John was running a gambling operation or cooking drugs in a room he rented from a house belonging to a retired couple. This case naturally raises a lot of questions (e.g. should the whole house…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Serious mistakes in exercising investigatory powers

Serious mistakes in exercising investigatory powers First published on UK Human Rights Blog, 4 February 2019  At the end of January the Investigatory Powers Commissioner published his first annual report for 2017. Its coverage of errors provides some very welcome transparency. But one matter remains opaque and exposes a legislative and policy challenge: when serious mistakes are made, who finds out? In this post I set out what the IPC report says in this regard, explain the legislative…

SECURITY

Bangalore Principles on the Domestic Application of International Human Rights Norms

This Report was first published on the UK Human Rights Blog. Conference Report The evolution of international human rights law (IHRL) in the UN era has seen a paradigm shift away from a view of international law as applying solely to states and their relations with other states, to a focus on the rights of individuals and the duties states owe to citizens. As articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, certain rights are so fundamental as to be universal in scope based on our…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Closed judgments: security, accountability and court processes

First published on UK Human Rights Blog, 25 January 2019  A new practice direction reveals some valuable progress in the management of closed judgments, but leaves uncertainty and, very worryingly, indicates that some judgments will be destroyed. Closed material procedures (CMPs) have become an established option for the government when it wants to rely on security-sensitive evidence in civil litigation. In immigration matters in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) and in…

SECURITY

Secret judgments database to be opened to special advocates and senior judges

Published in: The Guardian, 23 January 2019 Secret judgments database to be opened to special advocates and senior judges Content: quotes the Bingham Centre's lead on Security and the Rule of Law, Dr Lawrence McNamara Link: Secret judgments database to be opened to special advocates and senior judges 

SECURITY

After Poland's Attempted Purge of 'Communist-era' Judges, Do We Need New International Standards?

This comment was first published on the UK Constitutional Law Association blog in two parts, on 15 and 16 January 2019.  For most of last year, the government of Poland maintained that legislation which effectively dismissed 27 Supreme Court judges (a third of the Court) by lowering the age of retirement was necessary to deal with the continued influence of the 'Communist-era' judiciary. A few judges who remained in office from before the 1989 transition were said to be responsible…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Seven Brexit endgame scenarios – a guide to the parliamentary process of withdrawal from the European Union

Seven Brexit endgame scenarios - a guide to the parliamentary process of withdrawal from the European Union Project Report This report is a guide to seven of the different possible parliamentary scenarios that might occur between now and exit day. This report explains how each of these scenarios could play out, and highlights the problems each faces. These hurdles come both from within the UK and from the rules created by the EU. This report explains how procedure will affect the politics,…

EUROPE

Brexit and the Speaker of the House of the Commons: Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Yesterday, the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, decided to allow an amendment to the Brexit timetable to be selected and voted upon by the Commons, in flat contradiction of the Commons' rules and against the advice of his senior clerks.  The amendment itself sought to require the Government, in the event that the Commons rejects the deal when the meaningful vote concludes on 15 January, to return to the Commons with a fresh motion within three days. The Commons subsequently…

EUROPE

Joint response to a consultation of the Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel regarding the powers of the Jersey Children's Commissioner

Joint response to a consultation of the Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel regarding the powers of the Jersey Children's Commissioner The State of Jersey has recently created a Children's Commissioner post in response to the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. Its legislature, the States Greffe, is in the process of legislating to set out the Commissioner's powers. Bingham Centre researcher Michael Abiodun Olatokun responded to a consultation regarding the draft…

CITIZENSHIP

European Commission study on human rights due diligence in supply chains

We are leading a project for the European Commission DG for Justice and Consumers on human rights due diligence in supply chains. Our research partners are Civic Consulting  in Berlin, and LSE Consulting. This study follows the request by the European Parliament of June 2018 for the Commission to propose a mandatory legislative framework for mandatory human rights due diligence, including "a duty of care to be fully phased-in within a transitional period".  The study will have…

BUSINESS

For Rule of Law in the US, 2019 Brings New Hope

Published in The Hill  on 28 December 2018 For those concerned about the rule of law in the United States, the last two years have been a steady drip - accelerating at times to a full-blown torrent - of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. 2017 was tough, but 2018 was tougher. The year included the manufacture and release (against adamant objections from the intel community) of the infamous "Nunes" memo. It included the Helsinki summit between presidents Trump and Putin. It included…

PARLIAMENTS

The Commons’ verdict delayed: a decisive shift in the battle for control of the Brexit Endgame?

Theresa May's delay of the meaningful vote was a game-changing decision in the contest between the Commons and the Government for control of the Brexit process. This decision - ostensibly to address the concerns of MPs and enable further legal clarifications from the EU - might not appear that significant. In principle, the delay simply ensures MPs have all the information they need to make an informed choice. However, this underplays the strategic importance of the delay. The Government's…

EUROPE+1

Getting Rights Right: Human Rights and the Scottish Parliament

In this Report the human rights committee of the Scottish Parliament considered how the Parliament could be a better guarantor of human rights in Scotland. The Report drew heavily on the draft UN Principles on Parliaments and Human Rights to make a number of recommendations designed to improve parliamentary scrutiny of legislation for human rights compatibility in Scotland as well as to improve public participation in discussion and debate of human rights issues in the Parliament. The…

PARLIAMENTS

The House of Commons and the Brexit Endgame: what can the Commons achieve before exit day?

This was originally published in the UK in a Changing Europe blog  on 23 November 2018, republished here with kind permission. Amid all the noise around leadership challenges and a People's Vote, it is easy to forget that the role of the House of Commons in the Brexit Endgame is focused on two core tasks: Approving the Withdrawal Agreement and the Framework on the Future Relationship (the meaningful vote); and Turning the Withdrawal Agreement into domestic law through the EU (Withdrawal…

EUROPE+1

Justice Week 2018

The regulators of lawyers in England and Wales run an annual campaign called 'Justice Week'. This initiative aims to boost the profile of justice and the rule of law, helping to place them at the centre stage of public and political debate. With many parts of the system at breaking point, now is the time to make a strong and clear case for why they are so fundamental to our society, economy and democracy. During the week the Bingham Centre convened politicians to discuss the rule of law…

CITIZENSHIP+1

A Vision for Public Legal Education and The Rule of Law: A Joint Meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on The Rule of Law and Public Legal Education & Pro Bono

Democratising the law requires people to be legally capable Many of the assumptions of the enforceability of the justice system rely on the notion that people with legal problems or disputes will act upon those issues to receive the entitlements they are due. Extensive research has shown that many people lack the knowledge, skills and confidence to do this. As a result, the Bingham Centre has worked tirelessly with others to promote the legal education of the public. This briefing paper…

CITIZENSHIP

A Vision for Public Legal Education

The Bingham Centre is a leading member of the Solicitor General's Public Legal Education Committee. As a member of this Committee, we have been at the forefront of developing the government's vision for public legal education in the United Kingdom. At a joint meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Public Legal Education and The Rule of Law in October 2018, then Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP launched a government statement on the importance of public legal education.…

CITIZENSHIP

Brexit and the Meaningful Vote: Down the Procedural Raab-it Hole?

Brexit has a knack for producing constitutional mountains out of procedural molehills. Last Wednesday, the House of Commons Procedure Committee published a letter from the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab along with a Government Memorandum on the Government's views on how the procedural arrangements for the meaningful vote in the Commons agreed in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 should work. In a nutshell, the Government wants to ensure that the Commons makes a decision on the Brexit deal motion…

EUROPE

Ombudsman schemes and effective access to justice

Access to justice is both a fundamental right in itself and a precondition for the enjoyment of other rights. Its conceptualisation requires the inclusion of dispute resolution mechanisms as part of both formal and informal justice institutions, especially in the wake of increasing awareness of the limitations of courts and tribunals as redress mechanisms.  In 2018 the International Bar Association's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee has commissioned the Bingham Centre for…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Taking Back Control: Brexit, Parliament and the Rule of Law

Over the next six months of the Brexit process, the UK Parliament will make a number of decisions that will have a profound impact on the UK's constitution and its legal systems. In a Bingham Centre for the Rule Law Report published this week, The Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration: A Preliminary Rule of Law Analysis , we argue that the next six months represents a major test for the Rule of Law in the UK. The Rule of Law does not itself provide answers to the question…

EUROPE+1

The Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration: A Preliminary Rule of Law Analysis

This report identifies a number of Rule of Law issues that can inform the scrutiny of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship and the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill in Parliament. The Rule of Law, a central principle of the UK's uncodified constitution, provides a set of minimum standards that can inform both the process and substance of Brexit. The final six months before exit day are unlikely to provide ideal conditions for effective parliamentary…

EUROPE

Rosenstein's departure would test Americans' commitment to Rule of Law

First published in The Hill on 1 October 2018 We may be about to arrive at the constitutional moment many Americans have been dreading for some time now A moment the founders of our country foresaw and sought to head off through the structuring of our constitutional system, but whose rich complexities they did not fully fathom. The moment represents a fork in the road for the nation, one no less decisive for our self-definition as Americans than were our responses to Pearl Harbor…

GOVERNMENT

A "failure to prevent" adverse human rights impacts mechanism

In March 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights released a report on business and human rights in which it proposed the introduction of a "failure to prevent" mechanism for corporate human rights abuses. In March 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights released a report on business and human rights in which it proposed the introduction of a "failure to prevent" mechanism for corporate human rights abuses.  Together with the international law firm Hogan Lovells we…

BUSINESS

Access to Legal Aid in civil, administrative and family justice systems

Bingham Centre collaboration with the International Bar Association (IBA) The IBA Bar Issues Commission and the IBA Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee undertook a comparative study to review access to legal aid in civil, administrative and family justice systems. The project originated from a very successful Legal Aid Roundtable in conjunction with the IBA Mid-Year Conference in May 2017 in Belfast. For Phase 1 of the project, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law was commissioned…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The Brexit endgame: a guide to the parliamentary process of withdrawal from the European Union

The Brexit endgame: a guide to the parliamentary process of withdrawal from the European Union Project Report In this exhaustive report, Matt Bevington, Jack Simson Caird and Alan Wager have gone to great lengths to meticulously examine the nooks and crannies of parliamentary procedure to give an insight into how this process might work. Leaving to one side the vicissitudes of party politics, which, frankly, merit a report in their own right, they lay bare the complexities of the parliamentary…

EUROPE

"Reckless" counter-terror bill a threat to academic research

Published: Index on Censorship, 17 September 2018 "Reckless" counter-terror bill a threat to academic research  Content: Quotes the Bingham Centre's lead on Security and the Rule of Law, Dr Lawrence McNamara

SECURITY

How Reckless Judicial Impeachments Threaten Rule Of Law

This article was first published on 31 August 2018 by Law360.com under the title "How Reckless Judicial Impeachments Threaten Rule Of Law ".  The article may not be reproduced without the original publisher's consent. Developments in West Virginia and other US State Courts What happens when legislators try to remove an entire Supreme Court bench? This is not a question about dictatorships or sham democracies. On 7 August 2018, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to impeach all…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Safeguarding the Rule of Law

Published in The Washington Times  on 28 August 2018 The Senate hearings to consider Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court will likely be among the most partisan this country has seen.  In recent years, the process to both nominate and confirm candidates to the court has become polarizing to the point of dysfunctionality. This year the stakes are as high as they've ever been — the possibility of locking in a five-person conservative majority for years to…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Rule of Law Implications of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill Briefing Note

Following a succession of mainland terrorist attacks in 2017 that took thelives of 36 British citizens, the government committed to a review of its 'CONTEST' counter-terrorism policy. In July 2018 the Centre convened leading experts, including the then Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, to discuss the role that The Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill would play in the CONTEST process. Elements of the discussion (summarised in the Briefing Note) revolved around: Whether…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Contribution of parliaments to the work of the Human Rights Council and its universal periodic review

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights drew up a set of draft Principles to guide parliaments seeking to build their capacity to engage with human rights and Rule of Law issues, based on an extensive survey of best practice in parliaments around the world. In particular, the draft Principles provide detailed guidance about how to establish and operate a parliamentary human rights committee. The draft Principles draw extensively on an earlier draft prepared by the Director…

PARLIAMENTS

Awakening the Sleeping Giant

As Americans head off to Independence Day celebrations, it is hard to ignore that the United States, like much of the world, is experiencing significant upheaval when it comes to the Rule of Law, and the norms, principles, and values that underlie it Published in The Hill  on 4 July 2018 All is not well in the Union, such that developments that a couple years ago would have been unthinkable now appear on the front pages of American newspapers almost daily. Despite this fact, and the challenges…

CITIZENSHIP

The Polish government’s assault on judicial independence is part of a worldwide trend

In this op-ed piece, the Director of the Bingham Centre argues that the assault on judicial independence in Poland, with the passage of the Supreme Court Bill, is part of a global phenomenon, whereby populist leaders in a number of countries are steadily eroding the independence of the judiciary, which is a crucial aspect of the Rule of Law. Read the full Opinion piece in the Washington Post 

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Supreme Court Justices from US, UK and Canada Speak on Judicial Independence

The Importance of Judicial Independence to the Rule of Law Panel discussion jointly organised by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the New York City Bar. Speakers Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court Lord John Dyson, Former UK Supreme Court Justice and Master of the Rolls Justice Beverley McLachlin, Former Chief Justice of Canada Moderator Murray Hunt, Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law What is judicial independence? Why does it matter to the…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The Business Case for the Rule of Law

Published in NACD Board  Talk on 7 June 2018 With the principle of the rule of law and democratic governance under siege in numerous parts of the world, corporate board members are increasingly considering how global events are creating mounting risks to both their businesses and the bottom line. These actions are taking place in jurisdictions that have long been high risk for companies. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, and Myanmar, for example, have for some time presented…

BUSINESS

Rule of Law - Video for Chief Executives

Video for Chief Executives

BUSINESS

Rule of Law - Video for Chairs

Video for Chairs

BUSINESS

Regulating FinTech: Lessons from Africa

Technological innovation in finance 'Fintech' has been on the rise in recent years, creating new challenges for regulators. Technological innovation in finance ("FinTech") has been on the rise in recent years, creating new challenges for regulators. These challenges vary significantly depending on the region in question and type of economy, not least because different technologies are applied to tackle different problems. This Article focuses on regulatory frameworks of two leading jurisdictions…

DIGITAL AGE

Conference Summary - The role of the private sector in fostering peace, justice, and strong institutions

Overview On Tuesday 2nd of May, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, with the support of Jones Day, organised a conference on the role of the private sector in fostering peace, justice and strong institutions, as enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16. Set at Jones Day in London, this conference considered various questions arising from the intersection of business and SDG 16, including how the business community should engage to advance SDG 16's themes of peace, justice and…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

When National Law Conflicts with International Human Rights Standards: Recommendations for Business

The first research supported by the Bingham Centre's Business Network examines how companies can adhere to international human rights standards, as described in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, when faced with contradictory domestic laws or practices. The research brought together the international legal framework, existing guidance for specific issues or sectors, and practical examples for businesses. The research methodology included semi-structured conversations…

BUSINESS

APPG on the Rule of Law: The Data Protection Bill- What Do Rule of Law Principles Mean for AI and Data Processing?

The Data Protection Bill: What Do Rule of Law Principles Mean for AI and Data Processing? The meeting was convened to provide MPs and Peers with an opportunity to discuss the application of rule of law principles to data gathering, sharing and processing, including using artificial intelligence (AI), under the Data Protection Act 2018. There was a particular focus on the potential risks and opportunities for the proposed 'framework for data processing by government' to undermine or reflect…

DIGITAL AGE

The Data Protection Bill: What Do Rule of Law Principles Mean for AI and Data Processing? Briefing Note

The Data Protection Bill: What Do Rule of Law Principles Mean for AI and Data Processing? The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law met to consider the Rule of Law implications of the Data Protection Act 2018 before its second reading in the House of Commons. Senior Policy Adviser on Mainstreaming the Rule of Law in Parliament, Swee Leng Harris, wrote this briefing paper for the meeting with support from Michael Abiodun Olatokun. A Framework for Data Processing The Centre asked…

DIGITAL AGE+1

Corruption Risks at the Local Level in the EU and EU Periphery Countries

Most governance and decentralization reforms tend to prioritise transfers of powers from the central to local governments(LGs). This has resulted in greater decision-making, administrative functions and oversight, including concerning the delivery of public services, taxationor other socio-economic policies. There is growing interest and evidence on whether and how corruption impacts decentralisation (as opposed tocentralised systems). Building on the existingliterature…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

DLA Piper Global Fellows Development Programme

Over the last two years The Bingham Centre has partnered with DLA Piper to deliver training to graduate lawyers from across the world. These lawyers have been supported by DLA Piper as part of its Global Scholarships Programme. This initiative supports outstanding law students, known as Fellows, from less developed countries around the world and helps them define and achieve their own professional goals. There are currently 22 Fellows on the Global Scholarships Programme from countries…

CITIZENSHIP

Human rights education

Michael Olatokun, Research Fellow in Citizenship Education and the Rule of Law, and Sabina Garahan, Researcher, wrote a blog about the importance of human rights education for the British Institute of Human Right's "March for Human Rights" Campaign. On 28 March 2018, a group of academics, campaigners and civil society leaders will gather at the Bingham Centre to discuss how we can best use human rights education ("HRE") to empower young people across the country to become active citizens in…

CITIZENSHIP

Business and Human Rights after Brexit

Lise Smit and Justine Stefanelli. Listen to the podcast about Business and Human Rights after Brexit here 

BUSINESS

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill, A Rule of Law Analysis of Clauses 1 - 6

This Report sets out the Bingham Centre's Rule of Law analysis of clauses 1 to 6 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, to inform the House of Lords Committee Stage consideration of those clauses. The Bill's purpose is to protect the Rule of Law as the UK withdraws from the EU. It repeals the European Communities Act ("ECA"), the legal basis for EU law having effect and supremacy in UK law, with effect from the date of the UK's exit. However, it aims to ensure legal continuity, certainty and stability…

EUROPE+1

Business and the Rule of Law

Research and survey data shows the importance of the Rule of Law for businesses, for whom issues such as legality, transparency and access to justice are vital principles to reduce the cost of doing business and mitigate risks. On the other hand, some business practices can also undermine the Rule of Law. The Bingham Centre's business and sustainable development programmes have jointly implemented a number of projects and organised several events which seek to better understand the…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Global developments in the role of parliaments in the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law: An emerging consensus – 2018 update

This Report updates the earlier global survey, reviewing developments since the earlier survey was concluded. The Update found that the emerging consensus identified in the earlier Report had continued to develop and was now even more firmly established at regional and international level. The move towards increased parliamentary engagement was gathering momentum both at regional level and in international organisations such as the UN. Noting the endorsement of the UN Secretary-General…

PARLIAMENTS

The Appointment of Judges by Independent Commissions in the Commonwealth

One of the most sensitive tasks in a constitutional democracy is the selection and appointment of judges. In contrast to the frequently confrontational US processes, or the 'tap on the shoulder' by a government minister that was the norm for so long in the UK and its former colonies, a 'third way' of appointing judges has become strikingly popular. This is to entrust the task to an independent Judicial Service Commission or Judicial Appointment Commission with a broad membership that…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Securing Judicial Independence: The Role of Commissions in Selecting Judges in the Commonwealth

Editors: Hugh Corder and Jan van Zyl Smit This book brings together essays on the judicial selection practices in Canada, England and Wales, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria and South Africa. Written by experts from each jurisdiction who participated in an international research project convened by the University of Cape Town Law Faculty and the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, they provide the scholarly foundation for the Cape Town Principles, which are reproduced in the book together…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Regulatory challenges underlying FinTech in Kenya and South Africa

Technological innovation in finance ("FinTech") has been on the rise in recent years, creating new challenges for regulators. These challenges vary significantly depending on the region in question and type of economy, not least because different technologies are applied to tackle different problems. This Article by Bingham Centre Research Fellow, Dr Anton Didenko, focuses on regulatory frameworks of two leading jurisdictions in terms of FinTech development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya…

BUSINESS+2

Erasmus and Brexit

The provision of cross-border educational exchanges is a key achievement of the European Union. Despite this, Erasmus and the Erasmus+ programme have not featured as big ticket items in the Brexit discussion. Michael Abiodun Olatokun considered five key international education questions in 2017. This is available as a podcast interview here:  https://soundcloud.com/user-918926390/erasmus-and-brexit-michael-olatokun Q: What was the Erasmus programme?  A: The Erasmus programme was…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Access to justice for persons with disabilities: From international principles to practice

Approximately one billion people, or 15 per cent of the global population, experience some form of disability. Persons with disabilities face disproportionate socio-economic marginalisation, resulting in poorer health and medical treatment, lower quality of education, limited employment prospects and generally broad-ranging restrictions on their community participation. These negative outcomes are exacerbated by barriers to access to justice specifically experienced by persons with…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities From International Principles to Practice

Participants: Julinda Beqiraj, Lawrence McNamara, Victoria Wicks In 2018, the International Bar Association's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee commissioned the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to conduct an international study on access to justice for persons with disabilities and the challenges they face, whether as accused, victims, witnesses, or bearers of other interests. The resulting report explored how a rights-based approach grounded in effective access to justice could…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Bingham Centre Submission to the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Schools in England have been required to teach Citizenship Education since 2002. The provision of this subject has been marked by a period of decay over the last two decades. Michael Abiodun Olatokun wrote the Centre's submission on this issue to the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement. Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

CITIZENSHIP

Opinion on certain provisions of the draft Act on the Supreme Court of Poland

A Bill which set out drastic changes to the tenure, disciplinary system and operating procedures of the Supreme Court was introduced by the Polish government in July 2017 and rushed through most of its legislative stages in a matter of days. This action sparked large-scale public protests before the President of Poland referred the Bill back to the legislature for reconsideration. The Director of the Bingham Centre, Murray Hunt, was one of a group of experts invited to analyse the Bill…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: International Law and Human Rights

Following the success to 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Understanding Justice' the Bingham Centre published 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: International Law and Human Rights' a textbook that brings fascinating case studies of child labour, international conflict and the application of human rights laws into the classroom. Former Bingham Centre Research Fellows Xiao Hui Eng (the book's principal author) and Lawrence McNamara worked with Michael Abiodun Olatokun…

CITIZENSHIP

The Solicitor General's Public Legal Education Committee

The Bingham Centre is a member of the Solicitor General's Public Legal Education (PLE) Committee. The Committee was convened in 2017 by Robert Buckland QC MP to drive forward  initiatives that increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of the public to deal with legal issues in their lives. Since its formation, the group has established a vision for PLE work in the UK. The group is currently working towards the following seven goals: PLE will be supported by a robust evidence…

CITIZENSHIP

Any reform to Official Secrets laws must protect public interest disclosures and open justice

This post first appeared on the Information Law and Policy Centre Blog (26 June 2017) and then on the Inforrm Blog (28 June 2017). Professor Lorna Woods (University of Essex); Dr Lawrence McNamara (Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and University of York); Dr Judith Townend (University of Sussex) With the election now in the past, the wheels of government are beginning to grind again. While most eyes are on Brussels, it is important that the bright lights of Brexit do not draw attention…

GOVERNMENT+1

Submission to the Law Commission of England & Wales, Consultation on the Protection of Official Data

Submission to the Law Commission of England & Wales, Consultation on the Protection of Official Data Authors:  Prof Lorna Woods (University of Essex) Dr Lawrence McNamara (Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law & University of York) Dr Judith Townend (University of Sussex) Date:  9 June 2017 Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

DIGITAL AGE+1

Human Rights Education for teachers

The Bingham Centre is a member of the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT). This article was published in its Summer 2017 journal. ACT is the key thoughtleader in the Citizenship Education space and has been centrally involved in the development of the subject in England. Part of this thoughtleadership involves providing insightful articles on matters of relevance to ACT members. The Centre has engaged with citizenship teachers through communications, events and ACT conferences…

CITIZENSHIP

The Rule of Law in Parliament: A Review of the 2015-2016 Session

This study built on the Bingham Centre's first Rule of Law in Parliament report by examining the use of the Rule of Law as point of reference in Parliament in the next year's session (2015-2016). The findings demonstrate continuity of certain trends, but also some significant new developments. Compared with the previous period, the House of Commons overtook the House of Lords in supplying a clear majority of the 653 distinct references to the Rule of Law that were located and analysed.…

PARLIAMENTS

Global developments in the role of parliaments in the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law: An Emerging Consensus

This Report presents the findings of a worldwide survey of the most significant global developments in the role of parliaments in the protection and promotion of human rights and the Rule of Law. Drawing together developments at the international and regional level, the Report demonstrates that there is a growing international consensus about the importance of the role of parliaments in this respect, and growing activity towards achieving this. It found a distinct global trend of a…

PARLIAMENTS

The Rule Of Law Must Be At The Centre Of Brexit

The Rule of Law Must Be At The Centre of Brexit This post first appeared on the Huffington Post website. Friday morning's reaction to the Article 50 judgment has made me deeply reflective about the state of our politics. The Brexit era has been characterised by political announcements redolent of the deepest farce from 'The Thick Of It'. The EU Referendum has changed everything about British public life, and it is difficult to get a stable sense of what is actually going on as we lurch…

CITIZENSHIP+1

Judicial Independence in Latin America

This report examines some of the main ways legal systems can support and maintain judicial independence, a vital element of the Rule of Law. It considers the approach of Latin American jurisdictions in light of international principles. The report was written for a Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law conference, "Rule of Law Challenges in Latin America: Corruption and Judicial Independence", held in São Paulo in April 2016. It was presented as part of a panel discussion on judicial independence,…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Children and Access to Justice: National Practices, International Challenges

The IBA's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee has commissioned the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to undertake research on main barriers to access to justice for children and good practices across jurisdictions in this area. The co-chair of the IBA Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff CBE, said: "This report, is designed to improve access to justice for children across the world, by identifying the barriers they face in different jurisdictions, but…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Developing a Guide to Administrative Law for Civil Servants: From the UK to Kenya

First published on the International Association of Constitutional Law blog, 17 May 2016. What are the benefits of providing civil servants with a guide to administrative law, and how are they best achieved? The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law has been examining these questions at the suggestion of the Katiba Institute, an independent institute based in Nairobi. As part of its work to promote constitutionalism, the Katiba Institute has launched an initiative to develop an administrative…

GOVERNMENT

Developing an Administrative Law Guide for Kenyan Public Servants

What are the benefits of providing civil servants with a guide to administrative law, and how are they best achieved?  Authors: Jan van Zyl Smit, Lucy Moxham The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law has been examining these questions at the suggestion of the Katiba Institute, an independent institute based in Nairobi. As part of its work to promote constitutionalism, the Katiba Institute plans to develop an administrative law guide for the Kenyan civil service.Bingham Centre research…

GOVERNMENT

Brazil Must Fight Corruption, But Preserve the Rule of Law

This comment piece was first published in the Global Anti-Corruption Blog (GAB) - see here . Accross Latin America, the past year has provided reasons for hope that the struggle against grand corruption and impunity is finally making progress. Prosecutors have gone after corrupt elites in Guatemala and Honduras, while political leaders in Mexico and Chile have also been under pressure for their links to corruption scandals. And in Brazil, the investigations into the corruption scandal…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Cape Town Principles on the Role of Independent Commissions in the Selection and Appointment of Judges

What are the Cape Town Principles? One of the most sensitive tasks in a constitutional democracy is the selection and appointment of judges. In South Africa, the bulk of this work has been entrusted to the Judicial Service Commission that was established in 1994. Similar bodies now exist in many jurisdictions across the developed and the developing world. The Cape Town Principles are a set of principles that build on that international and comparative experience. They aim to provide practical…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The Rule of Law in Parliament: A Review of Sessions 2013-2014 and 2014-2015

The Rule of Law has practical implications for almost every aspect of government and parliamentary decision-making and so parliamentarians consider Rule of Law issues frequently. Every decision to grant a discretion to a Minister or bureaucrat in an Act of Parliament engages the Rule of Law, questions of access to the legal system such as fees, legal aid and legal process are Rule of Law issues, and holding the government to account can be an example of applying the Rule of Law. Most…

PARLIAMENTS

Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice

Expert support to the activities of the Council of Europe's Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) was established by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2002, with the aim to improve the efficiency and functioning of justice in the member States and the implementation of the instruments adopted by the Council of Europe to this end. Its activities include preparation of benchmarks, data collection…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Written evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

Written evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill and to the Joint Committee on Human Rights This evidence to the Parliamentary Committees was authored by Dr Lawrence McNamara and Dr Eric Metcalfe.  It was submitted in December 2015. Read / download: It can be downloaded from here (see right & below) and is also available on the Parliament website as IPB0055 in the Volume of Written Evidence submitted to the Committee  (pp 160-177). Cited by…

SECURITY

Intercept as Evidence: A Freedom of Information Request for the Government's Legal Advice

Intercept as Evidence: A Freedom of Information Request for the Government's Legal Advice In November 2012, the Bingham Centre made a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to the Home Office seeking disclosure of legal advice relating to the admissibility of intercept evidence, so that the advice could be seen and considered by the wider community. After the Home Office refused the request, the Bingham Centre appealed that decision through the Information…

SECURITY

The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Understanding Justice

In 2014, the Centre published an innovative, ground-breaking educational resource called 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Understanding Justice'. We want to share our work with you. The book was developed to help teachers in secondary schools to deliver lessons on equality, human rights and access to justice. The book proved to be very popular and has been used by over 400 teachers across England. These resources were supplemented by support and events to improve teachers'…

CITIZENSHIP

Judicial Review and the Rule of Law: An Introduction to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, Part 4

Judicial review is a legal process by which individuals can challenge decisions made by public authorities on the basis that they are unlawful, irrational, unfair or disproportionate. It is a directly accessible check on abuse of power, a means of holding the executive to account, increasing transparency, and of providing redress when public agencies and central Government act unlawfully. In a country without a written constitution, it plays a particularly important role. The Criminal…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

International Access to Justice: Legal Aid for the Accused and Redress for Victims of Violence

The International Bar Association (IBA) provides assistance to the global legal community with the aim of influencing the development of law reform and promoting the highest professional standards and the rule of law throughout the world.  As part of that mission, the IBA Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee, formed in 2013, has undertaken and commissioned research into issues it sees as being of prime contemporary importance. This study, the Committee's second project, focuses…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Response to New Zealand Independent Review of Intelligence and Security

Response to New Zealand Independent Review of Intelligence and Security Authors:  Lawrence McNamara & Justine Stefanelli Date:  13 August 2015 Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY

The Appointment, Tenure and Removal of Judges under Commonwealth Principles: A Compendium and Analysis of Best Practice

July 2015  An independent, impartial and competent judiciary is essential to the Rule of Law. This study considers the legal frameworks used to achieve this and examines trends in the 53 member states of the Commonwealth. It asks: who should appoint judges and by what process? what should be the duration of judicial tenure and how should judges' remuneration be determined? what grounds justify the removal of a judge and who should carry out the necessary investigation and inquiries?…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Response to New Zealand Law Commission - National Security Information in Proceedings

Response to New Zealand Law Commission - National Security Information in Proceedings Authors:  Lawrence McNamara & Justine Stefanelli Date:  30 June 2015 Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY

Detention, Interrogation and Security: Oversight and Accountability

  Detention, Interrogation and Security: Oversight and Accountability  Authors:  Jack Kenny, Justine Stefanelli & Lawrence McNamara Date:  5 March 2015 This is a report of an event convened by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law in March 2015.  A panel of experts considered the implications for the United Kingdom of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA's detention and interrogation programme (the SSCI Report), published…

SECURITY

Risk and Return: Foreign Direct Investment and the Rule of Law

The Bingham Centre, working with the law firm Hogan Lovells, commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey senior executives at leading multi-national companies to identify the factors considered by multinational businesses when selecting where to undertake foreign direct investment (FDI), and to gauge the importance of the Rule of Law as a selection criterion. The survey was conducted with 301 senior decision-makers at Forbes 2000 companies with global annual revenues of…

BUSINESS

The Importance of the Rule of Law in Promoting Development

It is increasingly understood that the Rule of Law can deliver a powerful and lasting boost to the human and economic development of society. What is the nature of this relationship, and what are its consequences for individuals, governments, corporations and transnational actors, ranging from the United Nations to multilateral development banks? In the context of international debates about the content of what became the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Bingham Centre organised…

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Closed Material Procedures under the Justice and Security Act 2013

Reporting on the use of Closed Material Procedures under the Justice and Security Act 2013 Under the Justice and Security Act 2013, closed material procedures (CMPs) can be used in all civil proceedings in the UK. The Act requires the Secretary of State to report annually on the use of CMPs. When in 2014 the Secretary of State for Justice delivered his first annual report on the use of Closed Material Procedures under the Justice and Security Act, the Centre undertook a review of that…

SECURITY

Closed Material Proceedings Under the Justice and Security Act: A Review of the First Report by the Secretary of State

Closed Material Proceedings Under the Justice and Security Act: A Review of the First Report by the Secretary of State Author:  Lawrence McNamara & Danielle Lock, with Laila Hamzi Date:  December 2014 The first version of this report was published in August 2014.  It identified inconsistencies between the Secretary of State's report and the information in the public domain.  As a result of the publication, further material came to light.  The Ministry of…

SECURITY

Bingham Centre Submission to Investigatory Powers Review (Nov 2014)

Bingham Centre Submission to Investigatory Powers Review (Nov 2014) Author:  Dr Eric Metcalfe Date:  19 November 2014 This was a submission to the Investigatory Powers Review by David Anderson QC (then the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation).  It was cited on numerous occasions in the review report, A Question of Trust. The submission was led by Eric Metcalfe, with input from Centre staff.  It was also informed by an expert event convened by the Centre…

SECURITY

International Access to Justice: Barriers and Solutions

As part of a project funded by the International Bar Association's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee, the Bingham Centre conducted an important international survey on barriers to access to justice and the attempts made to overcome them in different jurisdictions. The project aimed to analyse the extent to which individuals and groups in different countries are able to use formal and informal justice systems, legal services and dispute resolution mechanisms to solve their justice…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: Overview

In 2014, the Centre launched an innovative curriculum of lessons on equality, human rights and access to justice.  These lesson plans  twere initially piloted amongst a small number of schools and then later refined in a second edition textbook for Key Stage 3 (KS3). This model was replicated for Key Stage 4 (KS4) and scaled across England for both age brackets over the next four academic years. hat have been used by teachers across England. These resources were supplemented…

CITIZENSHIP

Streamlining Judicial Review in a Manner Consistent with the Rule of Law

Report by: Michael Fordham QC, Martin Chamberlain QC, Iain Steele and Zahra Al-Rikabi Judicial review is the mechanism by which the courts hold public authorities to account for the legality of their conduct. It is the reason we can be confident that Ministers and other public bodies will do what Parliament has authorised and required them to do, and act in accordance with their common law duties. It is the mechanism by which individuals and businesses are protected from official…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Safeguarding the Rule of Law, Democracy and Fundamental Rights: A Monitoring Model for the European Union

"The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail"(Article 2, Treaty on European Union (TEU)). Project Report Led by Justine Stefanelli and Lucy Moxham, the Report reviews…

GOVERNMENT

Report on Immigration Detention and the Rule of Law

The Bingham Centre has published its report, Immigration Detention and the Rule of Law: Safeguarding Principles. Led by Michael Fordham QC, with Research Fellows Justine Stefanelli and Sophie Eser, this report draws on legal instruments, promulgated standards, working illustrations and judicial observations. It includes 'soft law' sources and finds inspiration in the principled proactivity of non-governmental organisations. The Bingham Centre was awarded a research grant by the Nuffield…

CITIZENSHIP

The Rule of Law in Burma/Myanmar

The Bingham Centre has been engaged in a range of work relating to Burma (Myanmar) since early 2013. This has included several visits to the country, a major Constitutional Awareness project, publications about constitutional reform in Burma, and evidence to the UK House of Commons. The underlying philosophy and approach of the Bingham Centre's 2014-2015 project was that while there are international standards for constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law, there are different options…

JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Justice and Security Bill: Briefing for the House of Commons

Justice and Security Bill: Briefing for the House of Commons Authors:  Adam Tomkins & Tom Hickman Date:  17 December 2012 Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY

Justice and Security Bill (2012-13)

The Justice and Security Bill was introduced to Parliament in January 2012.  It was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent years. It allowed courts, for the first time, to decide ordinary civil claims, including judicial reviews, on the basis of evidence which is not disclosed to one of the parties. The Bingham Centre was very active in its response to the Government's consultation on the Justice and Security Green Paper. A working paper in January 2012 was…

SECURITY

Minimum Safeguards: Briefing Paper on the Justice and Security Bill

Minimum Safeguards: Briefing Paper on the Justice and Security Bill Authors:  Adam Tomkins & Tom Hickman Date:  5 July 2012 Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY

Bingham Centre Response to Justice and Security Green Paper (Jan 2012)

Bingham Centre Response to Justice and Security Green Paper Authors:  Adam Tomkins & Tom Hickman Date:  6 January 2012 Publication - Download PDF Share Links Publication - Tags

SECURITY
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