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Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

10. Environmental Law in the Legal Culture of the United Kingdom  

This chapter is an overview of the legal cultures within the UK as they relate to environmental law. The focus here is on England, but the scope of analysis is across the UK and includes discussion of the devolved regions. The purpose of the chapter is to give the reader not only a general overview of the main features of these cultures but also to highlight much of its complexity. In particular, the uniqueness of much of UK environmental law means that one must be wary of transplanting ideas and assumptions about environmental law from other jurisdictions. The chapter thus begins with a basic discussion of legal culture.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

1. Public Law—An Introduction  

This chapter provides an overview of public law, introducing the key institutions, principles, and practices that characterise the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

2. The Constitutional Rulebook  

This chapter looks at the constitution of the United Kingdom to understand its function as a rulebook: for constitutional arrangements to work well, people need to know what the rules are and there also needs to be broad consensus that the rules are right. It explores the sources of the rules in the United Kingdom’s famously ‘unwritten’ constitution: these include Acts of Parliament, the common law, and constitutional conventions. It also considers the question: who makes the rulebook? To answer this, we must listen to a debate about the respective roles of politicians and judges (called ‘political constitutionalism’ and ‘common law’ or ‘legal’ constitutionalism).

Chapter

Cover Public Law

2. The Constitutional Rulebook  

This chapter looks at the constitution of the United Kingdom to understand its function as a rulebook: for constitutional arrangements to work well, people need to know what the rules are and there also needs to be broad consensus that the rules are right. It explores the sources of the rules in the United Kingdom’s famously ‘unwritten’ constitution: these include Acts of Parliament, the common law, and constitutional conventions. It also considers the question: who makes the rulebook? To answer this, we must listen to a debate about the respective roles of politicians and judges (called ‘political constitutionalism’ and ‘common law’ or ‘legal’ constitutionalism).

Chapter

Cover Complete Public Law

6. The Crown and Royal Prerogative  

Titles in the Complete series combine extracts from a wide range of primary materials with clear explanatory text to provide readers with a complete introductory resource. The royal prerogative is a special form of common law that may be exercised by the Crown, either through the Queen as monarch (her personal prerogative) or through the executive as Her Majesty’s government (the political prerogative). This chapter begins by tracing the history and development of the royal prerogative and the role of the Crown in the exercise of these powers, and then addresses the division between prerogative powers that are personally exercised by the Queen and those that are exercised on her behalf by the political executive. Next, it turns to the respective roles of Parliament and the courts in the operation and development of prerogative powers, considering the relevance of those powers today and proposals for reform, in part, in the context of the case study on the use of the royal prerogative to trigger article 50 to begin the process of withdrawal from the European Union (EU), as well as the government’s advice to the monarch to prorogue Parliament in the run up to the UK’s exit from the EU.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

2. How the UK constitution has developed  

This chapter discusses the historical development of the UK constitution. The key to understanding the evolution of the British constitution is to imagine it being shaped by a dynamic ebb and flow of power between the key players—the monarch, Parliament, the Church, governments, judges—to determine the issue of where supreme power and authority would ultimately settle and reside. In the case of the UK, supreme authority settled in the monarch in Parliament, while political power resided with the executive. The chapter then argues that the constitution is fluid and changing, despite the received view that it has evolved slowly and peacefully without invasion or violent revolution. Despite fluctuations in power, and changes in Britain’s territorial composition and external alliances, there has always been a sense that the constitution is based on the collective memory of ancient laws and principles that fundamentally protect the people and cannot be changed.

Book

Cover Public Law

John Stanton and Craig Prescott

With its fresh, modern approach and unique combination of practical application and theoretically critical discussion, Public Law guides students to a clear understanding of not only the fundamental principles of constitutional and administrative law, but how they are relevant in everyday life. Topics include: the UK Constitution; the institutions of government and the separation of powers; the rule of law; parliamentary sovereignty; the European Union; and Brexit. It also looks at the Crown and the royal prerogative; central government; Parliament; and devolution and local government. Next it presents a number of judicial reviews in the following: illegality, irrationality and proportionality, and procedural impropriety. Finally, it considers administrative justice, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act, and human rights in the UK.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

17. Freedoms and liberties in the United Kingdom  

This chapter is concerned with how freedoms and liberties might be protected in the UK. It begins with an attempt to distinguish between human rights and civil liberties, whilst recognizing that this is by no means a straightforward task. It then covers political and social or economic rights, the traditional means of protecting civil liberties in the UK, the European Convention on Human Rights, the incorporation of the Convention into English law, and judicial deference/discretionary areas of judgment. The Human Rights Act 1998 is reviewed from a protection of rights perspective. Finally, the question of a Bill of Rights for the UK is considered, along with reform intentions relating to the 1998 Act.

Chapter

Cover Immigration & Asylum Law

13. Exclusion from asylum  

Gina Clayton, Georgina Firth, Caroline Sawyer, and Rowena Moffatt

This chapter considers the provisions whereby an individual can be excluded from refugee status because of their conduct. These are as laid down in the Refugee Convention and the EC Qualification Directive. These powers were little used in the twentieth century, but now are used increasingly often in the context of the escalation in international action against terrorism. Their interpretation and application are affected by domestic legislation, in the UK, the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, the Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, and the Terrorism Acts of 2000 and 2006, and draw on international criminal law. The chapter discusses up-to-date case law on exclusion from refugee status based on crimes against humanity, serious non-political crimes, and acts against the purpose and principles of the United Nations. It deals with the issue of complicity and the relationship with the UK’s anti-terrorism legislation. It also deals with the situations in which refugees can be removed from the host country.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

12. The Governance of Scotland and Wales  

This chapter examines how the constitution has addressed the question of the geographical separation of government power in the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Wales, and discusses the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Acts of 1998 and 2006. It argues that although the Scotland Act 1998 and Government of Wales Act 2006 fall short of creating a ‘federal’ UK constitution similar to how the notion is understood in the United States, the constitutional significance of the devolution legislation should not be underestimated. The chapter also discusses the conduct and outcome of the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland. Consideration is given to the leading Supreme Court judgments on the nature and extent of the Scots Parliament’s legislative powers, and to the contents and implications of the Scotland Act 2016.