Constitutional Reform Notes

Constitutional Reform Notes - How far have the reforms of...

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How far have the reforms of the Blair Governments addressed weaknesses  in the UK constitution? HoL PR HRA Elected mayors for local govt UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE CENTRE FOR PUBLIC LAW J BEATSON [1998] CONSTITUTUTIONAL REFORM IN THE UK DAWN OLIVER [2003] Bill of Rights Sir William Wade QC European Convention of Human Rights denounced by Lord Jowett as “some half-baked scheme to  be administered by some unknown court”; “so vague and woolly that it may mean almost  anything”  ECHR not incorporated into UK law until Human Rights Act 1998, meaning uk citizens had to go  to Strasbourg prior to act. Oliver: “Until the HRA came into force the ECHR could not give rise  directly to rights enforceable in UK courts, and complainants had first to exhaust remedies in the  British courts before they could exercise the individual right of petition to Strasbourg”.  Previous governments had argued that judges: 1. would be drawn into politics 2. would come into conflict with Parliament 3. would acquire too much power Lord Hailsham “They [the ministers] are under the curious illusion that judges are not already in  politics”. Lord Bingham, Denning Lecture, “[that view] could not withstand examination”.  Wade QC: “the present Bill is a minimalist measure, but it is a welcome step in the right  direction” Incorporation of the ECHR Sydney Kentridge QC “Most of the rights stated in the Convention are to be found in our common law” Lord Woolf – “Droit Public – English Style” Public Law 57 [1995] – “I consider that it is  unacceptable that our citizens should be able to obtain a remedy which the government will  honour in the European Court of Human Rights which they cannot obtain from the courts in this  country.” 
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Geoffrey Marshal Act does not fully incorporate ECHR. Adopted the New Zealand amendment that states that  “courts will not be able so to decide if such a decision involves setting aside an Act of Parliament” Problem! Article 13 of the ECHR states that everyone whose rights and freedoms, as set forth in  the Convention, are violated is to have the right to an effective remedy. Could be argued that  failure to provide effective judicial enforcement of the HRA is itself an infringement of Article 13.  Government has therefore omitted Art.13’s incorporation into the HRA. Suggested new title for  14 are incorporated. However, without a codified constitution, HRA is susceptible to change – it has no special 
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PPE PPE taught by Professor None during the Summer '08 term at Oxford University.

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Constitutional Reform Notes - How far have the reforms of...

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