The Annual Harry Street Lecture - Academic Year 2020/2021
|Dates:||21 April 2021|
|Times:||16:00 - 17:30|
|What is it:||Lecture|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
‘UK Constitutional Reform – Westminster or Whitehall?
We’re often told that there is no real understanding of the separation of
powers in the UK constitution. Its efficient secret is the fusion
of the executive and the legislature, combined with the independence
of the judiciary. Yet, this misunderstands the extent to which the
UK constitution rests on a delicate balance of powers between Parliament,
the Government and the courts. As the UK constitution evolves, the balance
between Parliament and the Government – between Westminster
and Whitehall – fluctuates.
The Conservative Party’s 2019 general election manifesto promised to
establish a Commission on the Constitution, Democracy and Rights, as well
as repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. Both the Independent
Review of Administrative Law and the Independent Human Rights Act Review
have asked whether the UK constitution currently gives too much power to the courts.
This lecture will argue that, in doing so, these reviews fail to tackle a deeper problem.
The lecture will ask whether the real problem is a tipping of the balance of power away
from Westminster towards Whitehall and asks whether this is a move in the right direction'.
Alison Young is the Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law at the University of
Cambridge and a Fellow of Robinson College. She researches in all aspects of public law
and constitutional theory, focusing recently in particular on the implications of Brexit on
the UK constitution. She has published two monographs, Parliamentary Sovereignty and the
Human Rights Act and Democratic Dialogue and the Constitution and has just finished updating
the most recent edition of Turpin and Tomkins: British Government and the Constitution.
She also co-edits the UKCLA blog, is a trustee of the Constitution Society and the Director
of the Cambridge Centre for Public Law.’
Role: -Professor of Public Law
Organisation: University of Cambridge
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