The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society in association with Wolfson College and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford invites you to:

The Oxford Putney Debates 2020: Live webinar series on Parliamentary Sovereignty 

Sir Stephen Sedley, Michael Gordon, Alison Young, Robert Hazell CBE head line-up of Debaters across five weeks of Debates

This year, for the first time ever, the Oxford Putney Debates will be staged as a free, online-only series of webinar debates – hosted by the UK’s leading legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg and founder of the Oxford Putney Debates Prof Denis Galligan – open to all and accessible from the comfort of your own home.  

Over the past three years, the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (affiliated with Wolfson College, Oxford) has revived the Putney Debates for contemporary times, bringing expert analysis and debate to an audience of hundreds in person, and thousands more who have accessed the videos, podcasts and livestreams online.

This year’s Debates will focus on Parliamentary Sovereignty – the fundamental democratic principle that has been eroded in recent years by the centralization of Executive power, the longue duree of prorogation and lockdown, and the Whitehall exodus. 

Our expert panellists include legal and political commentators, Court of Appeal judges, philosophers and campaigners, and constitutional experts, who will set out their vision over a unique series of video commentaries and live webinar debates, staged online throughout October and November.

The Debates will be launched on 21 October with a live-streamed Keynote Lecture by Professor Michael Gordon on The Future of Parliamentary Sovereignty in a Democratic Constitution and the video release of the opening presentations for the first debate. 

Other highlights of this year’s Debates include:  

  • Sir Stephen Sedley on Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Courts
  • Alison Young asks: Does Parliamentary Sovereignty belong to the Executive or the Legislature?
  • Robert Hazell CBE on Parliamentary Sovereignty, the Civil Service, and Special Advisers
  • AC GraylingSir Adam RobertsMeg Russell and Catherine Barnard take part in our Final Debate on Parliamentary Sovereignty in Perspective 

Each week, we will release a new video package of expert commentaries from our panellists, culminating in a final debate on 18 November. In the week prior to each debate, our online audience can watch the video to prime themselves on the issues at hand, before joining the debate and putting your question to the panel. 

Click here to find out more and to register.