government

Will Brexit rights have direct effect? The Human Rights Act may show us the answer

August 23, 2017

The government published its latest “future partnership paper” today on “Enforcement and dispute resolution”, and most of the attention it’s gathered—and the government’s spin—has been about its “dispute resolution” aspect. In other words, what role the European Court of Justice may have in the UK’s future relations with the EU. But I want to focus on the […]

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Article 50, and UK constitutional law

June 27, 2016

If you’ve been following closely news about Britain’s EU referendum and its aftermath, you’ll probably have heard of article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which makes provision for a member state to leave the EU and lays down an extendable two-year period for a withdrawal agreement. THE TEXT OF ARTICLE 50 Here it is: […]

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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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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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The strange, slow death of the criminal courts charge

December 7, 2015

The criminal courts charge is, or was, one of the less well thought-through criminal justice reforms of recent years. Since April this year, courts have had a duty under section 21A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to impose a fixed charge “in respect of relevant court costs” on those convicted of offences. When […]

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Pannick on the Reyaad Khan drone strike

September 17, 2015

In the Times today Lord Pannick QC discusses the recently announced RAF drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan and another British “Islamic State” fighter. He agrees with me that article 51 of the UN Charter permits defence against an imminent attack from a non-state organisation. A state, he writes does not have to wait for […]

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The killing of Reyaad Khan: Britain’s letter to the UN

September 10, 2015

A row has broken out since the publication of the letter from the UK to the UN, in which the British permanent representative reports the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan to the UN Security Council as required by article 51 of the UN Charter. The letter says— the United Kingdom … has undertaken military […]

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Psychoactive substances: Labour’s February 2015 amendment to the Serious Crime Bill

June 8, 2015

Anyone following the progress of the Psychoactive Substances Bill (the general principle of which which be debated on Second Reading in the House of Lords tomorrow) may be interested in this amendment tabled by Labour’s Home Affairs team (as “NC21”) at Report Stage on the Serious Crime Bill earlier this year. New psychoactive substances (1) It is an […]

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And another thing …
(about the Psychoactive Substances Bill)

June 3, 2015

One of the things some people claim shows the bill is “badly drafted” is the way exemptions are written for caffeine and alcohol. Our newly-elected government aren’t the brightest bunch. Psychoactive Substances Bill “exemption” for caffeine: pic.twitter.com/lizkLiSynz — James Lowe (@jlego) June 1, 2015 Alcohol is a psychoactive substance. An alcoholic product is one which contains […]

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