The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010: The Evolution and Development of a Constitutional Act

Mark Ryan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The last decade or so has been hallmarked by the passage of successive constitutional legislation which have reshaped, radically, the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom. In April 2010, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill received the Royal Assent just before Parliament was dissolved prior to the 2010 general election. The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 contains seven Parts comprising provisions on the civil service, treaties, parliamentary standards, the tax status of members, government financial reporting to Parliament, public records, together with other miscellaneous elements. The Act (or at least aspects of it) had been issued in draft form in March 2008 as the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill. This Bill received pre-legislative scrutiny by the Joint Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill which reported its findings in July 2008. Although the broad overall theme of the 2010 Act is self-evidently one of constitutional reform, other than that, this legislation is simply a collection of disparate and unconnected provisions. In fact, there were significant changes to its contents as it progressed from draft form into a fully-fledged Bill and also as the Bill proceeded through Parliament. For example, these alterations included the insertion of a clause at committee stage in the House of Commons (which was subsequently abandoned), which made a commitment for a national referendum to take place on the electoral system. The purpose of this article is to trace the evolution and development of the 2010 Act by comparing the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill 2008 with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill introduced in the House of Commons in July 2009, and then to compare this incarnation of the Bill with the one which received Royal Assent in April 2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-254
    JournalLiverpool Law Review
    Volume35
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • Attorney General
    • Constitutional reform
    • Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010
    • Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
    • Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill
    • House of Lords reform
    • Parliamentary scrutiny of legislation
    • Parliamentary Standards Act 2009
    • Pre-legislative scrutiny
    • Referendum on the electoral system
    • The civil service
    • Treaties
    • Wash-up

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