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What Next in Constitutional Reform? Implementing the Governance of Britain Agenda Andrew Le Sueur Queen Mary, University of London

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Presentation on theme: "What Next in Constitutional Reform? Implementing the Governance of Britain Agenda Andrew Le Sueur Queen Mary, University of London"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Next in Constitutional Reform? Implementing the Governance of Britain Agenda Andrew Le Sueur Queen Mary, University of London 12 December 2007

2 The Governance of Britain project PM's House of Commons statement 3/7/07 Green Paper (Cm 7170) "In a nutshell, it is about making the Executive much more accountable to Parliament and making Parliament more accountable to the people, and I really mean that" (Jack Straw MP, to HL Constitution Committee 23/10/07)

3 Consultations Role of the AG (Cm 7192) Judicial appointments (Cm 7210) War powers and treaties (Cm 7239) Managing Protest Around Parliament (Cm 7235) Lord Goldsmith's Citizenship Review -- various British Statement of Values: local, regional and national events, and opportunities for the public to deliberate and debate, using a wide range of mechanisms Early 2008: Consultation paper on British Bill of Rights and Duties Early 2008: Speaker's Conference

4 Draft bills during Session Pre-legislative scrutiny of: Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill Draft Citizenship and Immigration Bill

5 Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill: process Expected March 2008 (but slippage possible) Likely to have pre-legislative scrutiny by Joint Committee Joint Committee report, Government response Bill "proper" introduced in Session

6 Constitutional Renewal Bill: contents AG Deployment of armed forces (if convention rejected) Parliamentary role in relation to ratification of treaties Civil Service Reform of judicial appointments Confirmation hearings for some public appointments Intelligence and Security Committee Abolition of prerogative of mercy Abolition/reform of other prerogative powers?

7 Other legislation House of Lords Bill (to create 'substantially or wholly elected' second chamber) Elections (review of voting systems; voting days) Amendment of Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Rights of charities to campaign Further reform of prerogative powers

8 Not requiring legislation Draft legislative programme published in spring, ahead of Queen's Speech Possibly: deployment of troops Commons approval of PM's decision to seek dissolution of Parliament Majority of MPs to request recall of Parliament Limiting Ministers' powers relating to honours Annual debates on Department's objectives/plans

9 9 Ministers for English regions, with Commons select committees Concordat between central and local government Ministerial Code Public petitions to the House of Commons

10 British Statement of Values Michael Wills (Minister of State, Ministry of Justice) …. it is not just the formulation of the statement that matters, but what it will be used for. That will be for the British people themselves to decide. They are going to deliberate and debate, and in the final stage of the process—a citizens summit—they will decide not only what the statement should be, but what it should be used for, subject to the views of Parliament. (HC Hansard 24/10/07)

11 Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire, Conservative) Will the Minister please translate his first answer into plain English? Will he tell us how much all this gobbledegook is costing, and precisely what the nonsense of a citizens summit is supposed to mean? (HC Hansard

12 Medium & longer term reforms British Bill of Rights and Duties (draft Green paper now with Ministers; to be published early next year) '… a concordat between the executive and Parliament or a written constitution'


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