Category Archives: British Parliament

Lords Clerks Go Wigless

Earlier this week it was revealed that the clerks in the House of Lords will no longer wear their traditional uniform on a day-to-day basis. Gone are the horsehair wigs, court jackets, and white bowties; the gown will remain, but … Continue reading

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A Brief History Of Royal Assent By Commission

Today Lords Commissioners gave Royal Assent to legislation before proroguing Parliament. Traditionally, the Monarch signified their Assent in the presence of Parliament, but the statute 33 Henry 8 c. 21 allowed Henry VIII to grant Assent without visiting Parliament. Although … Continue reading

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One Person, Many Votes: Plural Voting In The UK

Although the concept of ‘one person, one vote’ seems axiomatic these days, that hasn’t always been the case. In the UK, plural voting was a legitimate practice for many centuries.    The right to vote in the UK was traditionally … Continue reading

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What Can Be Done About The Size Of The House of Lords?

The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, has come under some fire for expressing concern over Boris Johnson’s decision to appoint a new batch of 16 peers. While some have questioned the propriety of his intervention, he was right to raise the … Continue reading

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Is This The End Of The Road For The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011?

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’m not a fan of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. I think it was a cynical ploy to stabilize David Cameron’s coalition government, and it has done far more harm than good. … Continue reading

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A New Tradition? The Lord Chancellor And Royal Approbation Of The Speaker

Today, the House of Commons chose Sir Lindsay Hoyle as their Speaker following John Bercow’s resignation. As is customary, Sir Lindsay’s election had to be confirmed by the Queen before he could formally take the Chair. Like prorogation and royal … Continue reading

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What Happened With The Brexit Bill?

Today was another day of high political drama in the House of Commons. Although MPs voted to give the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill a second reading, they failed to pass the programme motion necessary to progress the bill. But … Continue reading

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The Future Of Prorogation

With all the controversy surrounding Boris Johnson’s extended prorogation, I’ve been asked if I think the practice of proroguing Parliament is likely to be abolished in the not-too-distant future. However, outright abolition seems unlikely. Until now, prorogation has been a … Continue reading

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Prorogation Gets Even Messier

Courts in England and Scotland have come to radically different conclusions on the legality of Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks. The Inner House of Scotland’s Court of Session overturned an earlier decision of the Outer House … Continue reading

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Parliament To Be Prorogued Next Month

After weeks of speculation, Boris Johnson has confirmed that Parliament will be prorogued shortly after MPs return from their summer recess. This is very grave news. It dramatically heightens the chances of a no-deal Brexit, and it also raises the … Continue reading

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