The debates that began at St Mary's Church, Putney on 28 October 1647 pioneered the liberal, democratic settlement in England: a written constitution, universal suffrage, freedom of conscience and equality before the law. Four centuries later, the 2016 Brexit referendum raised fundamental questions concerning the constitution of the United Kingdom. Following the High Court ruling that the government, under a centuries-old Royal Prerogative, does not have the power to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU, MPs have claimed that we are entering a full-blown constitutional crisis. The parallels between 1647 and 2017 are striking. Government has been toppled, a new leadership has emerged, and the two main parties are in a state of internecine warfare. Parliamentarians do not understand how to reconcile their duty to act for the common good and the result of the referendum. The people are divided and the four nations comprising the United Kingdom are at odds. This volume brings together some of the greatest public intellectuals of their generation to debate the constitutional crisis at the heart of today's politics. Featuring contributions from A.C.
Grayling, Joshua Rozenberg, Onora O'Neill, Will Hutton, Timothy Garton Ash and Michael Mansfield, this book provides important new perspectives on the most important political debate of the twenty-first century.
Denis Galligan is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, and a Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. He is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Public Law at the Universita' degli Studi di Siena and a Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Professor Galligan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Law, Justice, and Society, an independent institution affiliated with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and based at Wolfson College University of Oxford. His books include Law in Modern Society and Western Concepts of Administrative Law.
Acknowledgements Introduction by Denis Galligan Part I. Parliament and the People Parliamentary Sovereignty v Popular Sovereignty by Sionaidh Douglas-Scott The Great Unanswered Question at Putney by John Rees Athens, 17th century England and the Contrast with 18th-19th century America by Richard Sorabji Contemporary Populism and What it Signifies by Akeel Bilgrami Popular Sovereignty by Vernon Bogdanor Building a New Social Commons: People and Parliament Working Together by Anna Coote Brexit and the case for a People's Constitution by Alexandra Runswick Part II. Changing and Strengthening the Role of the People 8. Is Representative Democracy Ripe for Review and Modification in Favour of More Direct Democracy? By Philip Kay 9. `The People is my Caesar': Jeremy Bentham's Radical Democratic State by Philip Schofield 10. We Need Fewer Referendums, with Higher Thresholds by Robert Hazell 11. Referendums for EU Politics? By Anne Deighton 12. Social Media and Democracy by Linda Risso 13. Democracy Is about More Than Voting: Pre-Modern Petitioning and Its Implications for Today by Mark Knights Part III. Parliament, the Executive, the Courts, and the Rule of Law 14. Does the Separation of Powers Still Work? By Stephen Sedley 15. Prerogative Powers: Are They Necessary in the Twenty-First Century? By Alison Young 16. The Article 50 Legal Challenge: clarifying the UK's constitutional requirements to start Brexit by Rob Murray 17. Enemies of democracy? Taking back control through the courts by Jonathan Lis 18. The Role of Experts in Parliamentary Democracy by David Vines 19. The UK's Institutional Balance of Power After Leaving the EU by Michael Dougan Part IV. Parliament, the Executive, the Courts, and the Rule of Law 20. Voice, Free Speech, and Democracy by Timothy Garton Ash 21. Plurinational Democracy by Michael Keating 22. Judeo-Christian Principles Underlying the Constitution by Ailsa Newby 23. Why The UK Needs A Written Constitution by AC Grayling 24. "Thoughts From Across The Pond: The US Constitution (1787, 2017) by Richard W Clary 25. Conclusion by Denis Galligan Index