Carl Gardner

The draft EU (Voter Registration) Regulations 2016

June 9, 2016

Draft EU Referendum (Voter Registration) Regulations 2016 (PDF) Draft EU Referendum (Voter Registration) Regulations 2016 (Text) Here are the draft regulations that will (if approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament this morning) extend the voter registration deadline for the EU referendum. Thanks to Rich Greenhill for alerting me to their being online. Click […]

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How to extend the referendum voter registration deadline

June 8, 2016

In response to the overloading of the website where people could register to vote in the coming EU referendum, government is apparently considering how it can extend the deadline (which expired at midnight) by a day: Mr Cameron said people should continue to register on Wednesday, saying the government was working urgently with the commission […]

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Pannick and Lester on the “British Bill of Rights”

June 2, 2016

Lords Pannick and Lester have form for writing together on human rights, and today Pannick writes on the subject in the Times, while Lester comments in The Brief. Pannick makes fun of the long delay in producing its “Bill of Rights”: the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War, and the assessment of the case for a […]

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Why Michael Gove should drop his Bill of Rights plans

May 9, 2016

Today the House of Lords EU committee has published its report on “The UK, the EU and a British Bill of Rights”. It’s quite a wide-ranging report covering for example the respective scope of the ECHR and the EU Charter of fundamental rights, the enforcement of each in national law, and the impact of any […]

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Let’s have proper no-fault divorce

March 11, 2016

MPs are due today to debate the principle of Richard Bacon MP’s No-fault Divorce Bill. What’s interesting about this bill is how very unradical it is. When we talk about “no fault divorce” most of us mean taking any notion of fault out of the divorce process altogether so that when you decide you want […]

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Gove can roll his own smoking ban:
R (Black) v Justice Secretary

March 8, 2016

Does the smoking ban in public places apply to prisons? No, the Court of Appeal has said, in a judgment today. The ruling doesn’t lay down any “groundbreaking” precedent (it has no wider legal effect beyond determining that the smoking ban doesn’t apply) but is a fascinating reminder of an old-school principle of constitutional law, […]

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What Boris told us about the “sovereignty plan”

March 7, 2016

Since I wrote about David Cameron’s “sovereignty plan”, it seems to have been forgotten. It’s clear the idea was aimed at keeping politicians in the Remain camp, and has failed. @carlgardner I understand it is an utter mess, and that it is hoped we all forget it ever happened.#journalism — David Allen Green (@DavidAllenGreen) February […]

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What is Parliamentary sovereignty, anyway?

February 23, 2016

As we await David Cameron’s sovereignty plan this week, it might help to explain what we mean by “Parliamentary sovereignty”. When we talk about Parliamentary sovereignty, we don’t mean a general notion of political sovereignty—a nation’s right to be recognised as a state, and its rulers’ power within its borders. All states have sovereignty in […]

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Cameron’s sovereignty plan: what to hope for, and what to fear

February 21, 2016

David Cameron’s EU deal has been published. But there’s a missing piece of his jigsaw: a “sovereignty plan” that he hoped would reassure waverers like Boris Johnson. On today’s Andrew Marr show, the Prime Minister hinted at what this plan might be (from 49 minutes 10 seconds into the programme; a sound recording is here). […]

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The UN working group’s Assange opinion

February 5, 2016

Here’s the opinion of the UN working group on arbitrary detention, which has concluded that Britain and Sweden have arbitrarily detained Julian Assange. It calls on both countries to release him, and pay him compensation. UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Assange Opinion (PDF) UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Assange Opinion (Text) I wondered […]

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