If one is allowed to have a favourite prerogative power, the prerogative of mercy is mine. The prerogative of mercy’s only uses are to lift punishment and to lessen suffering. Who could object to that? Yet this “most amiable prerogative” is often under attack. Read the rest of this entry »

The Rose Theatre was the sight of the first performances of some of Shakespeare’s plays. The remains of the theatre were unearthed in London in the late 1980s. Shortly after a group of citizens formed the Rose Theatre Trust Company to help protect what was left of the theatre. The Trust asked the Secretary of State to ‘list’ the theatre, which would have given it some protection from development and interference. The Secretary of State refused, however, and the trust applied for judicial review of the Secretary of State’s refusal. In one of the more famous cases in English administrative law, Scheimann J held that trust lacked standing to make its application Read the rest of this entry »

Nick Barber has an article titled ‘Why Entrench?’ coming out in the International Journal of Constitutional Law (available on SSRN). Among other things, the article is about the kinds of entrenchment there are, the reasons there are for entrenchment, and how the two match up. I really like the piece: it’s clear and persuasive, with some fresh examples and a useful typology. Here I want to explore a point that Barber hints at, but doesn’t get into. Read the rest of this entry »

Three of my favourite topics are statutory interpretation, Prince Charles, and Canadian electoral politics. I never thought these topics were all that closely related. Happily, I was wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Britain is always tinkering with its constitution. Sometimes it talks about a more radical change: constitutional codification. Over the past few years, talk of constitutional codification has grown a little more serious. High-profile committees, centres, and scholars have spent a lot of time and energy discussing the issue. Sophisticated reports have been produced (see here and here). Articles have been written.

But I still wonder: what difference would codifying the constitution actually make? Read the rest of this entry »

On 23 March, Theresa May announced plans for a review of shariah councils in England and Wales, to examine their compatibility with British values, if the Conservatives win the May election.  Read the rest of this entry »

Some statutes have ‘constitutional’ or ‘quasi-constitutional’ status. What is the legal significance of a statute’s constitutional or quasi-constitutional status? The answer is different in different jurisdictions. In Britain, Canada, and some other jurisdictions, the answers are different than they once were. Read the rest of this entry »