separation of powers Archive

  • What should parking pay for?

    Away from the big picture of world trade and globalisation, let’s look at the important issue of parking charges.  What should it cost to park a car outside your house?  And, more importantly, who decides? For example, a recent increase in parking charges in the […]

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  • The uncertain boundary between politics and law

    Here is an interesting examination of the interaction between politics and law in the British political system, delivered by leading barrister (and future judge) Jonathan Sumption QC.  Delivered as the 35th FA Mann Lecture, “Judicial and Political Decision Making: The Uncertain Boundary”, on Tuesday 8 […]

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  • Constitutional Reform – End of the Road? (14 July 2011)

    Constitutional Reform – End of the Road? 14 July 2011, 4.30pm – 6.30pm, followed by a reception Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3RB Robert Hazell, Director of The Constitution Unit, will talk about the whole of the new government’s constitutional reform programme […]

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  • Who needs Wikileaks?

    Who needs Wikileaks when we’ve got Sir Gus O’Donnell?  His report into the background to the decision to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2009 was published on 7 February and tells an interesting story.  The UK government had […]

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  • Should prisoners have the right to vote?

    There will be a debate in the House of Commons later this week on whether people sentenced to prison should have the right to vote.  The issue comes up because the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the current situation which is that […]

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  • Oh dear, Vince

    The revelation that Vince Cable had spoken boastfully and even aggressively to undercover reports from the Daily Telegraph posing as constituents will cause him no little embarrassment.  He is a leading figure on the left of the Liberal Democrats and he may well be right […]

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  • Increasingly presidential

    The Conservatives have proposed that anyone who takes over as prime minister during a parliament should be required to call a general election within six months. (Read a report on this proposal here.) Obviously, this is a gibe at Gordon Brown, who after succeeding Tony […]

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  • Not enough separation in Scotland

    The recent decision by Scottish justice sectary Kenny MacAskill to free, on compassionate grounds, the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has provoked a storm. American politicians are complaining, British politicians are complaining, and now Scottish politicians are complaining. An emergency debate was held in the […]

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  • US-style senators

    Timothy Garton Ash, thinking about possible changes to the British constitution, writes of the House of Lords that “We can’t have US-style senators because we don’t have US-style states.” (Item 5 in his list here.) US senators are indeed powerful figures in the American political […]

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  • The court of public opinion

    “The prime minister has said it’s not acceptable and, therefore, it will not be accepted. And it might be enforceable in a court of law, this contract, but it’s not enforceable in the court of public opinion and that’s where the government steps in.” Those […]

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