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UK Constitutional Law Association

The brilliant accident of our form of constitutionalism is not just that the executive came to be accountable to an assembly. It is that the assembly came to be responsible for the executive –for its membership, its policy, its operation, everything. Prorogation, in particular, concerns the operation of the proceedings of Parliament, and it is the representatives of the people (and the people themselves in an election) who ought to have, and to exercise, responsibility for holding the Prime Minister to account for misconduct in proroguing. If the judges were to accept the novel claims in Petition of Cherry and other/s [2019] CSIH __ and R (Miller) v Prime Minister No 2 [2019] EWHC 2381 (QB), and forbid the Prime Minister to stymie Parliament with a prorogation, they would disrupt that responsibility.

And the present political crisis is no time to be changing the constitution. It would be better…

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UK Constitutional Law Association

In R (Miller) and Others v The Prime Minister (hereinafter Miller No.2), the High Court of England and Wales found that the decision of the Prime Minister to advise the Queen to prorogue parliament was non-justiciable. In doing so, the judgment reveals the propensity of the judiciary to be much more protective of its own empire than that of the legislature. Ultimately, however, it is an approach that undermines both due to the creation of a legal black hole.

Legal holes and Miller No.2

Legal black holes are zones formally created by law within which, no recourse to the law can be made. A legal black hole is thus created when there is no legal control on the body exercising the power in question, leaving the decision-maker free to exercise their absolute discretion. At best, all the judiciary can ask is whether the legal black hole was validly created…

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International Liberty

I’ve been in Rome the past few days with my charming and beautiful daughter.

We visited the usual tourists spots, including the Coliseum and other remnants of Ancient Rome.

And I couldn’t help but wonder how such a powerful empire could collapse, driving people from relative prosperity to the economic misery of the Dark Ages.

I briefly addressed this topic in early 2016, but only to make a point about the (myriad) problems of modern Italy.

So let’s take a closer look at this issue and learn how excessive government helped bring down the Roman Empire.

The Foundation for Economic Education has an excerpt of Will Durant’s book, The Story of Civilization, Vol. 3: Caesar and Christ. And here are my excerpts from that article.

Diocletian, with his aides, faced the problems of economic decay. …he substituted a managed economy for the law of supply and…

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UK Constitutional Law Association

Constitutional lawyers often point to key cases as milestones in public law. Recently, the Supreme Court decision in Privacy International joined the ranks of leading public law cases, adding to the cases discussing ouster clauses and the extent to which courts can review decisions of inferior courts and tribunals in Anisminic and Cart. As Privacy International also demonstrated, milestone cases often take on a life of their own. The judges in Anisminic may be surprised at how the case was later interpreted. But this is how the common law works. Anisminic was interpreted in a series of later cases to demonstrate that all legal errors are jurisdictional errors. This then became part of the common law.

CCSU (or the GCHQ case) has long been regarded as a milestone case regarding judicial control over prerogative powers. In R (Miller) v Prime Minister, (Miller 2) the High Court…

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