Lord Neuberger urges scrutiny of the constitution

Calls for Royal Commission to examine consitutional framework

It is time for a close look at the British constitution, the Master of the Rolls has said.


In a speech to the Law Commission in December, “Law reform—where will it all end?”, Lord Neuberger encouraged the Commissioners to make constitutional law their next subject of examination. This could be done by a special Commission or Royal Commission, he said.

This did not mean he advocated a written constitution, he said, but that the existing unwritten constitution was undergoing a period of change.
Further reform of the House of Lords is a “live issue”, he said, “not least in the light of its ever increasing size at a time when the smaller House of Commons is apparently engaged on down-sizing”.

Referring to the Hunting Act case, R (Jackson) v HM Attorney-General, he said: “The dicta in Jackson indicate that there is a strong judicial view that an important aspect of our fundamental law is changing; that parliamentary supremacy may be eroding ... But that raises the question, if Parliament is not sovereign, what is?”

Given the rate of constitutional evolution, he said, it had “become increasingly imperative that we engage a Royal Commission to examine our constitutional framework. Constitutional clarity is of fundamental importance”.

Category: 
Tags: