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The Constitution

This category contains 14 posts

Human Rights: What are they and where do they come from?

Human Rights and the extent to which the UK constitution and courts are able to preserve them are key topics in Unit 2. This video (from the LSE blog) is a lecture given by Prof. Connor Gearty on the concept of Human Rights. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/22/dna-human-rights-gearty/  

Conservative Euroscepticism

This piece from Tim Bale examines the recent relationship between the Conservative Party and Europe and suggests that an ‘in-out’ referendum on membership could occur in the future. This speculative story links to Unit 1 material on referendums and parties as well as Unit 2 questions on the constitution. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/11/britain-eu-exit-bale/#more-24326

Tory Backbenchers Threaten House of Lords Reform

This story is a god- send to AS politics pupils- if ever there was a multipurpose example this is it… For many Liberal Democrats constitutional reform was the pay back for getting into a political bed populated with ‘nasty’ Tories back in 2010, we all know that electoral reform didn’t go well for the Liberals … Continue reading

‘Carry on Qatada’

In a headline shameless borrowed from the Independent. The saga about the deportation of Qatada lumbers on. This has important implications to civil liberties in the UK it also raises important questions about national sovereignty. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on over the coming days. Here is a good piece from the Guardian … Continue reading

Clegg on Lords Reform

This piece on Lord’s reform is generally quite interesting, it does however also include a brilliant soundbite, according to Nick Clegg, the retention of an appointments system for the upper chamber “puts Britain in the same league as Jordan, Belize and Burkina Faso”. Well worth remembering for an essay on constitutional reform or the House of Lords in Unit … Continue reading

House of Lords Reform

Just a quick summary of the coalitions plans for House of Lords refrom in this Parliamentary session- excellent if you are sitting Unit 2 in the summer and need to think about Constitutional or Parliamentary reform but also for Unit 1 when the House of Lords is a key aspect of the UK’s democratic deficit. … Continue reading

It’s all in the wording

Referendums are viewed by some a twenty first century incarnation of direct democracy that will halt the participation crisis, by others they are the tool of dictators. What most people on either side of the argument agree on is that the wording of the question is imperative to achieving a fair and democratic result. This … Continue reading

Scottish Referendum

Alex Salmond is currently outlining the mechanics of the referendum on Scottish Independence, the news tonight will no doubt cover this in depth (Newsnight BBC 2, 10.30pm) and the papers will make good copy tomorrow. But in brief outline: The referendum will take place in autumn 2014 The Scots will work with the Electoral Commission … Continue reading

Scottish Independence

An interesting piece from the Guardian about the prospect of a legal challenge being brought by the Scottish Lord Advocate in opposition to Cameron’s attempts to block a referendum being held on Salmond’s terms. In addition to discussing the referendum there are a couple of interesting points about the composition of the court and the … Continue reading

If you are enjoying the saga that is the Scottish Independence Referendum…

Radio 4’s Decision Time (which is on as I write this) is broadcasting an excellent documentary on the issues surrounding the Scottish Referendum. Later this evening it will pop up on iplayer… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=decision%20time

More on the Scots

Some of you will have heard Robert Hazzell on Radio 4 the other day. He is based at UCL and the constitution unit at UCL runs an excellent blog. These articles both make interesting reading on the question of the Scottish Independence referendum. http://constitution-unit.com/2012/01/11/but-what-union/ http://constitution-unit.com/2012/01/10/cameron-may-regret-this-penalty-shoot-out/

The House of Lords

The apparently never ending saga of House of Lords reform trundles on this week. The coalitions discussion of what to do with the House of the Lords is excellent material for questions in both the Parliament topic (Reform of Parliament) and the Constitution (What still needs to be done?/ What the coalition have done/are doing?) … Continue reading

‘Rebellious Scots to Crush’

David Cameron’s moves to undermine the SNP’s hopes to hold a referendum on both indepedence and devo- max are causing some constitutional headaches, they are also coming in for some criticism that they are politically naive and Cameron’s decision to gamble on a ‘no’ vote is fool hardy. This is excellent material for a questiono … Continue reading

The saga of House of Lords Reform Continues

Nick Clegg’s attempts to reduce the House of Lords to 300 peers has been criticised by both peers and MPs. As well as being useful for a ‘Parliament’ question on the House of Lords, this up- to- date evidence is also ideal for questions in the Constitution topic, particularly those asking directly about the Coalition … Continue reading