Constitutional role of the judiciary if there were a codified constitution - Political and Constitutional Reform Contents

1  Introduction

1. To supplement our ongoing inquiry onMapping the path to codifying—or not codifying—the UK's constitution, we decided to consider how the judiciary'srole might change if the UK were to adopt a codified constitution, and the challenges that any changed role would present.In doing so, we looked at other countries that already have codified constitutions and examined what these examples told us about how codifying the constitution could affect established constitutional and judicial doctrines and practices in the UK.

2. The Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies at King's College London has, since the early stages of this Parliament, been providing research support to us in our inquiry into Mapping the path to codifying—or not codifying—the UK's constitution.To date, the work of the Centre for the Committee has included the production of two research papers: a literature review and a consideration of the existing constitution. A third paper, considering constitution-building processes, drawing on a variety of case studies from within the UK and internationally, has been completed in draft form. The Centre is now working on three blueprints of a codified constitution, which it hopes to deliver to us later in 2014.

3. In this report we are not considering the merits or desirability of codifying, or not codifying, the UK's constitution; we are simply looking at the potential changes to the role of the judiciary should the UK ever have a codified constitution.The full terms of reference for the inquiry can be found at the end of this report.

4. During the inquiry, we visited the Supreme Court and had the opportunity to watch the closing arguments of a case.We also met informally with the President of the Supreme Court, Rt Hon Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, to discuss the inquiry.We received 16 pieces of written evidence and took oral evidence on six occasions, from a variety of witnesses including two retired Supreme Court Judges: Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the former President of the Supreme Court, andRt Hon Lord Hope of Craighead, former DeputyPresident of the Supreme Court.We are grateful to all who contributed to our inquiry.

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2014
Prepared 14 May 2014