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Lucy Moxham

Biography Lucy Moxham joined the Bingham Centre in January 2012 as a Research Fellow in the Rule of Law. She holds a MA Law Degree (first class honours) from the University of Cambridge and a BCL Master's Degree from the University of Oxford, where she focused on human rights law and international development. Lucy completed the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School and a two-year training contract at Clifford Chance LLP, including time on secondment to the human rights organisation…

GOVERNMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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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

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

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…

BREXIT+2

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,…

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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.…

BREXIT+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…

BREXIT+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…

BREXIT+2

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…

BREXIT+2

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…

BREXIT+2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…

BREXIT+1

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

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

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
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