- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: January 1, 2007
Edited by Chris Bryant MP.
Published 2007 (ISBN: 1 905370 20 2) Price £9.95
Despite major constitutional and institutional reform since 1997 – devolution to Scotland and Wales, abolishing the sitting rights of the majority of hereditary peers, the introduction of a Freedom of Information Act and a Human Rights Act and new rules governing the transparency of political party funding – much remains to be done to ensure that government and parliament are relevant to the public and are more open, transparent and responsive to people’s concerns. The challenge involves finding a way to reconnect individuals and communities to the state; to narrow the gap between the represented and their representatives; to bring power closer to the people; and to ensure that these democratic reforms are achieved in a manner that maintains high standards of law making, scrutiny and delivery. This collection of essays by constitutional scholars, political scientists and politicians of all parties offers a wide-ranging and thought-provoking account of the issues that need to be addressed as we move towards a new constitutional settlement. The breadth of topics that our contributors were asked to write upon displays the complexity and nuance involved in this area, and highlights the wide range of angles from which a more formalised constitutional creed might be built. The collection also includes a fascinating attempt by a class of political science undergraduates to codify our constitution as it now stands. Their work brings together the various strands that are embedded in statute law, common law, the royal prerogatives, international treaties and agreements, authoritative works of political philosophy, institutional convention and culturally transmitted ways of working.