7. We launched our inquiry into Mapping the path
to codifyingor not codifyingthe UK's constitution
in September 2010. From the outset, we knew that this would
be an ambitious and unusual Select Committee inquiry that would
be conducted over not weeks or months, but years, and which would
involve research and support from an academic partner. The result
has been an innovative collaborative project with the Centre for
Political and Constitutional Studies at King's College London,
led by Professor Robert Blackburn, to whom we are extremely grateful.
We are also grateful to the witnesses who have given us their
views in oral and written evidence, which can be found on our
8. The work of King's College London for the Committee
has been a literature review and a consideration of the existing
constitution, and now an outline of the arguments for and against
codification, a paper setting out the process that could be adopted
in the preparation, design and implementation of a codified constitution
for the United Kingdom, and three illustrative blueprints, which
indicate how a codified constitution for the United Kingdom could
9. There have been a number of previous attempts
to produce an illustrative codified constitution for the United
Kingdom, or an outline of what a codified constitution could contain.
Recent examples include O. Hood Phillips QC (1970), Lord Hailsham
(1976), Frank Vibert (1990), John Macdonald QC for the Liberal
Democrats (1990), Tony Benn in the Commonwealth of Britain
Bill (1991), the Institute for Public Policy Research (1991),
and Richard Gordon QC (2010).
But what we are publishing now represents the most comprehensive
attempt so far to provide different detailed models of a codified
constitution for comparison and consideration.
3 Professor Robert Blackburn and Dr Andrew Blick, Centre
for Political and Constitutional Studies, King' College London,
A Literature Review (Error! Bookmark not defined. ) Back