Free

UCL CLP: The Democratic Case for a Written Constitution

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

UCL Gustave Tuck LT

Wilkins Building

Gower Street

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

View Map

Event description

Description


Inaugural Lecture

Speaker: Professor Jeff King (UCL)
Chair: Lord Pannick QC (Blackstone Chambers)
Series: Current Legal Problems 2017-18

About the lecture:

The United Kingdom is one of three countries in the world without a written constitution. Many argue that a written and entrenched constitution is required in order to safeguard rights against majoritarian overreach. In this lecture, the speaker rather argues that a written constitution is required to fully achieve democratic self-government. Only through the adoption of a written constitution can the people exercise true authorship over the most fundamental rules of the polity.

The issue of codification is hardly new, and there are several arguments against such a reform. Some think it a bid to entrench elite interests of the liberal variety. Others take it to be rationalist folly in a constitution whose history proves the wisdom of incrementalism in public affairs. Most critics think it will judicialise political disputes. And right-minded people everywhere should fear the ossification that attends strict constitutional amendment procedures.

But the democratic case for a written constitution survives all these concerns. Some of the objections are simply misguided, while others can be accommodated by sound process and substance. None come close to refuting the potent democratic case for a right to political self-authorship. The speaker will illustrate these claims through a consideration of the theory and practice of constitutionalism, and an examination of recent developments in UK public law, and in the politics of Brexit, devolution and parliamentary reform.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

UCL Gustave Tuck LT

Wilkins Building

Gower Street

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved