Daily Archives: February 3, 2017

Eugenio Velasco and Conor Crummey: The Reading of Section 28(8) of the Scotland Act 1998 as a Political Convention in Miller

UK Constitutional Law Association

velasco-crummeyThe holding of the majority in Miller that section 28(8) of the Scotland Act 1998, which  echoes the wording of the Sewel Convention, creates no legal obligation on the UK Parliament to seek the consent of the Scottish Parliament before passing legislation to leave the European Union was remarkably underdeveloped in comparison with its commendably clear treatment of the main questions concerning the prerogative power.

The majority held that section 28(8) was not a legal rule, but merely the acknowledgment of a convention, and so compliance with section 28(8) by the UK government was not a matter for the Court [148-149]. Paragraph 148 is the crucial paragraph:

As the Advocate General submitted, by such provisions, the UK Parliament is not seeking to convert the Sewel Convention into a rule which can be interpreted, let alone enforced, by the courts; rather, it is recognising the convention for what it…

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Judge Gorsuch on “the Role of Judges” in our Legal System

Uneasy Money

Neil Gorsuch, nominated this week to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the demise of Antonin Scalia, is in many respects an impressive Judge on the tenth circuit Court of Appeals, receiving accolades and encomiums not only from his ideological allies but also from legal experts and scholars on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. Besides a J.D. from Harvard, Gorsuch has a Ph.D. in law from Oxford, having written his doctoral dissertation on assisted suicide and euthanasia, a work subsequently published by Princeton University Press. A scholarly judge, known for well-crafted and lucid opinions, he is likely, if confirmed, to leave a lasting mark on the Supreme Court and on American jurisprudence.

So I was really disappointed, though not really surprised, to find out that Judge Gorsuch, at his public introduction at the White House on Tuesday evening, felt compelled to indulge in an…

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You Can’t Reform Your Way to Rapid Growth

The Growth Economics Blog

NOTE: The Growth Economics Blog has moved sites. Click here to find this post at the new site.

One of the big advantages of having written this blog for a while is that I can start recycling old material. I’m going to do that in response to the small back-and-forth that Noah Smith (also here) and John Cochrane had regarding Jeb! Bush’s suggestion/idea/hope to push the growth of GDP up to 4% per year. Cochrane asked “why not?”, and offered several proposals for structural reforms (e.g. reforming occupational licensing) that could contribute to growth. Smith was skeptical, mainly of the precise 4% value. Why 4? Why not 5? Why not 3 1/3?

Oddly enough, the discussion of Jeb!’s 4% target is also a good entry point to talking about Greece, and the possibility that the various structural reforms insisted on by the Germans will manage to materially change their…

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Will “Big Data” make a centrally planned economy possible?

Mostly Economics

Indian media and experts are celebrating that finally Indian government is using big data for analysis and catch tax evaders. Even before budget, the government had set up panel of experts to look at deposit data on demonetisation.

In our excitement, we fail to realise this is exactly the trap governments want us to fall into. The idea of controlling and planning people’s activities is some thing which always excites governments and big data once again raises hopes for governments. We only realise our follies of falling in the trap when we are trapped into it.

Xiong Yue writes at Mises Institute blog about the big data potential for the governments. He is less hopeful though. Big data surely give governments more information about people but still prices etc are shaped by preferences of people:

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Protesters Torch Free Speech At Berkeley In Latest Example of Mob Rule On America’s College Campuses


milo_yiannopoulos_journalist_broadcaster_and_entrepreneur-1441_8961808556_croppedSeal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgWe recently discussed the courageous stand of the University of Chicago in favor of free speech (a position followed by schools like Purdue). Free speech is being rapidly diminished on our campuses as an ever-widening scope of speech has been declared hate speech or part of the ill-defined “microaggression.” Now Berkeley has shown the world exactly what this intolerance looks like as protesters attacked people, burned property, and rioted to stop other people from hearing the views of a conservative speaker. As on so many campuses, they succeeded. The speech by Milo Yiannopoulos was cancelled. A triumph of anti-speech protesters. Berkeley now must face a defining moment. The only appropriate response for the school is to immediately reschedule the speaker and stand in defiance of those who want to deny the right to speak (and to hear and associate) to others. Moreover, it is liberals who should be on…

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