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This week’s event announcement is below. Happy holidays from the UKCLA Blog!
The House of Commons continues to play a central role in deciding whether the UK should deploy its military forces abroad. In the light of the recent debates on intervention in Syria, the Study of Parliament Group and the UK Constitutional Law Association are holding a seminar to debate Parliament’s role on 22 February 2016 at 6pm in Committee Room 2A in the House of Lords.
If you would like to attend the seminar, please email Jack Simson-Caird at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your place.
Dr Veronika Fikfak (fellow and lecturer at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, and Dr Hayley J. Hooper (fellow and lecturer at Homerton College, University of Cambridge)
Drs Fikfak and Hooper are the authors of a forthcoming book Parliament’s Secret War to be published by Hart in 2016, which examines Parliament’s changing role in relation to decisions about war. The book offers an in-depth conceptual analysis of the nature of the British Parliament’s role in respect of the war prerogative. It classifies, explains, and evaluates parliamentary engagement with war powers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and argues that the constitutional functions of Parliament are being frustrated by lack of access to relevant information, a practice which is usually justified by the Executive on the basis that providing relevant materials in open parliamentary sessions would be damaging to national security or international relations. In light of this the monograph attempts to reconceptualise a role for secret sessions of the House of Commons (a practice adopted during the World Wars) to provide a greater opportunity for parliament to access relevant intelligence and security information.
Professor Gavin Phillipson (Professor in Law, Durham University)
Professor Gavin Phillipson has published widely in the field of constitutional law, particularly on Lords’ reform and the growth of a new convention requiring parliamentary assent to military action, a topic on which he gave evidence to the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, was invited to speak at the American Society of International Law in Washington DC (2015) and which he debated with Sir Malcom Rifkind on BBC R4’s Law in Action.’
Dr. Andrew Blick (Lecturer in Politics and Contemporary History, King’s College London)
Dr. Blick is Director of History & Policy, an UK-wide initiative based at King’s College London and the University of Cambridge that seeks to bring together historians and policy-makers. He is the author of numerous pamphlets, articles and books on UK constitutional history and democratic reform, including ‘Emergency powers and the withering of the Royal Prerogative’, published in the International Journal of Human Rights in 2014. It considers from an historical perspective the increasing encroachment of Parliament upon powers that were previously in the gift of the executive, including the war powers.
Graham Allen MP (Member of Parliament for Nottingham North)
Graham Allen MP has been the MP for Nottingham North since 1987. In the 2010 Parliament, he chaired the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. In 2011, the Committee published a report on Parliament’s role in conflict decisions, which it then followed up with an update in 2013. He has campaigned on a sustained basis for Parliament to obtain a legal right to be consulted on decisions over entry into armed combat abroad.