New Blog: Administrative Law in the Common Law World A new blog has been launched on Administrative Law in the Common Law World. The blog aims to connect interested scholars and contribute to comparative administrative law, and already includes analysis from Cambridge, the National University of Singapore, and Yale.
New Report: The Rule of Law in Parliament: A Review of the 2015-16 Session On 17 March, The Bingham Centre released a briefing on The Rule of Law in Parliament in 2015 – 2016, which outlines key findings from its study of how MPs and Peers engaged with the rule of law in the 2015-16 parliamentary session. Key findings include that few parliamentarians regularly use the term ‘rule of law’ in parliamentary proceedings; that references to the rule of law are often in foreign affairs matters, rather than in domestic matters; and that members of the Executive refer to the rule of law more frequently than other parliamentarians and use it to defend Government policies.
Prisons and Courts Bill 2016-17 The Prisons and Courts Bill 2016-17 received its second reading in the House of Commons on 20 March. The Explanatory Notes for the Bill state that the purpose of the Bill includes ‘improving efficiency and services for users in courts and tribunals’. The Bill’s reforms include increased use of technology in the criminal courts with more hearings and decisions to be conducted in writing, including electronically, or virtually through audio and video links. However, there are concerns about the effect of the Bill’s proposals on access to justice, including from the Prison Reform Trust and Transform Justice.
Event: The Judiciary and the Rule of Law The Annual Bingham Lecture
Chair – The Rt Hon the Lord Philips of Worth Matravers KG, PC; Speaker – Lord Judge, former Chief Justice of England and Wales; Respondent – Dame Sian Elias, Chief Justice of New Zealand and Bingham Centre Patron Wednesday 3 May 2017 18:00
Gray's Inn, 8 South Square, London WC1R 5ET More information
Next Meeting There will be an APPG on the Rule of Law meeting on Monday 27 March at 4:30 pm to discuss the role of the UN Universal Periodic Review in assessing the UK’s human rights record, and that of other countries, and the role Parliamentarians can play in this process, both from a domestic and international perspective.
Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association – UK
Scott McPherson, Director of Judicial, Rights and International Directorate, Ministry of Justice
Melanie Field, Executive Director for Strategy and Policy, Equality and Human Rights Commission
The meeting will be held in co-convened with the APPG on UN, All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group and the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in conjunction with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Uncertainty for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU,
The ‘regulatory gap’ with regard to the some 33 EU regulatory and other bodies covering sectors as varied as aviation, fisheries, food safety, medicines, law enforcement and financial services,
Uncertainty for UK participation in the EU’s common foreign and security policy, and
The sudden return of a ‘hard’ customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Dr Charles Tannock MEP, ‘BREXIT: The Security Dimension’, (February 2017)
Dr Tannock’s report highlights ‘the priorities and the various options that the UK can consider to mitigate the potential damage to foreign and security policy from Brexit.’ The report covers EU level agreements including on Europol, Eurojust, European Arrest Warrant, Passenger Name Record, as well as bilateral/non-EU agreements concerning the UK-Irish border.
Iain McDowell, ‘Assembly election: Parties' red lines in Stormont talks’, BBC News (16 March 2017)
The main political parties in Northern Ireland are in negotiations to form government in accordance with the devolved nation’s power-sharing arrangement. The Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party are both concerned about legacy matters from the Troubles, the former believing that investigations have been unduly focused on the army and the latter questioning whether the Irish government’s disclosure of sensitive information has been sufficient. Priorities for Sinn Féin include legislation to give the Irish language official status, a Northern Ireland bill of rights, and funding for inquests into Troubles deaths, while the Social Democratic Labour Party is focused on Brexit.
Vincent Kearney, ‘Troubles legacy cases bias disputed by figures’, BBC News (2 February 2017)
Police Service of Northern Ireland figures show that 30% of the workload for legacy investigations concern killings by the Army. According to the BBC, ‘police legacy branch will re-investigate 1,118 deaths not previously reviewed or completed by the now defunct Historical Enquiries Team (HET). Of those killings, 530 were carried out by republicans, 271 by loyalists and 354 by the security forces.’ Of the 1,615 completed investigations by the HET, 32 were attributed to the army, while 1,038 were attributed to republicans and 536 to loyalists. See also
Stephen Tierney, ‘A Second Independence Referendum in Scotland: The Legal Issues’, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog (13 March 2017)
Tierney looks at whether the Scottish Parliament can hold a referendum without the consent of Westminster, whether the UK Parliament will grant an order for a referendum, and which institutions (Scottish or UK) have decision making power over the rules for a referendum.
About the APPG on the Rule of Law The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law aims to promote parliamentary and public discussion on the rule of law as a practical concept. It is co-chaired by The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP and Lord Pannick QC. Secretariat support is provided by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law with funding from The Legal Education Foundation.
Join the APPG mailing list For enquiries concerning the APPG on the Rule of Law, please contact Swee Leng Harris at the Bingham Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org Download this Bulletin
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Swee Leng Harris Coordinator of the APPG on the Rule of Law Secretariat Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law
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