Jeff King (UCL) has been Co-Editor of the UK Constitutional Law Blog since 2013, initially with Nick Barber (Trinity College, Oxford), and since then with Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh) from January 2015.
The blog was founded by Nick in November 2010 and, when Jeff assumed the co-editing role, had already established itself as a leading reference point for succinct scholarly contributions that inform and help stimulate debate among academics, practitioners and the public. In the period of Jeff’s co-editorship the blog has continued to grow from strength to strength. We have now had more than 2,700,000 hits and over 11,000 people are signed up for email notification of new posts. The blog is frequently referenced in textbooks, parliamentary debates, committee reports and briefing papers, and by the media. We continue to collaborate with other blogs abroad including the I.Connect Blog based in the US and the Verfassungsblog in Germany and have ‘academic correspondents’ in place for jurisdictions around the world that are of interest to Commonwealth constitutional lawyers.
Jeff’s contribution to the blog, co-editing with Nick since 2013 and then with Stephen since 2015, has been hugely significant. The blog is increasingly cited in academic articles and has developed its function as a forum for important academic debate, establishing a ‘Watch’ series which has analysed constitutional issues arising during the 2015 general election, developments in devolution, proposals relating to the Human Rights Act and of course the Brexit referendum and Miller case in the High Court. Jeff has continued to contribute important posts during his period as Co-Editor and was co-author of the seminal blog post on Miller which argued that ‘the Prime Minister is unable to issue a declaration under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – triggering our withdrawal from the European Union – without having been first authorised to do so by an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament.’ This remains the blog’s most popular post to date (with over 225,000 hits and more than 570 comments) and its core argument was of course ultimately successful before the Supreme Court. Indeed the Court acknowledged: ‘The very full debate in the courts has been supplemented by a vigorous and illuminating academic debate conducted on the web (particularly through the UK Constitutional Law Blog site).’
Inevitably a consequence of this period of success is that the editorial role has become increasingly demanding. Therefore, after the four years in which Jeff has made such a huge contribution to the blog, other commitments mean that he has decided to step down to make way for a new co-editor. He will continue to play an active role in the leadership of the UK Constitutional Law Association.
Jeff’s editorship will be greatly missed, but the Association is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Alison Young as the new Co-Editor, who will work with Stephen Tierney. Alison Young is Professor of Public Law and Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford. In January 2018 she will move to Cambridge where she will take up the Sir David Williams Chair of Public Law. Alison researches in applied constitutional theory, public law and human rights. She is the author of Democratic Dialogue and the Constitution (OUP 2017), for which she was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship from 2013-15, and Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Human Rights Act (Hart 2009). She is herself a frequent contributor to the blog.
This is an exciting time for the blog as we address ongoing challenges to the constitution on so many fronts. It is a significant statement about the strength of Jeff’s contribution to the blog as Co-Editor that a scholar of Alison Young’s standing has agreed to take on the role.
Henceforth, submissions to and inquiries about the UK Constitutional Law Blog may be sent to the editors: Prof. Stephen Tierney (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Prof. Alison Young (email@example.com). Dr Silvia Suteu (UCL) (firstname.lastname@example.org) remains the blog manager.