A new Magna Carta? - Political and Constitutional Reform Contents


7. We launched our inquiry into Mapping the path to codifying—or not codifying—the 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 website.

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 take shape.

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).[3] 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

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Prepared 10 July 2014