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Anthony Wenton

Biography Anthony Ellington Wenton is a Researcher at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. His research interests cover a wide range of areas within public international law, particularly international human rights law and transitional justice. Prior to joining the Bingham Centre, Anthony worked as Judicial Assistant to Dr Ganna Yudkivska (Judge elected in respect of Ukraine and Section President) at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Anthony has also worked as a Blue Book…

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Jack Simson Caird

Biography Dr Jack Simson Caird is Senior Research Fellow in Parliaments and the Rule of Law at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. He joined the Bingham Centre in July 2018. Prior to joining the Bingham Centre, Jack was the constitutional law specialist in the House of Commons Library, where he led the Library's work on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Jack was a lecturer in Public Law at the University of Sussex from 2014 to 2015. His academic work has focused on the UK Parliament's…

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Ellis Paterson

Biography Ellis Paterson is a Researcher at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. Her primary research interests are constitutional law, constitutional theory, and human rights.  Prior to joining the Bingham Centre, she lived in Tokyo for two years, where she taught English. Ellis returned to the UK to pursue her academic and research studies and has since been involved with various organisations committed to access to justice and the provision of legal aid.  Ellis was involved…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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The EU Settlement Scheme: the Rule of Law Implications

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…

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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…

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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…

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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. 

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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 ,…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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