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Constitutional Reform in the UK: A Note on the Legacy of the Kilbrandon Commission

Wilson, G (2017) Constitutional Reform in the UK: A Note on the Legacy of the Kilbrandon Commission. Liverpool Law Review, 38 (3). ISSN 0144-932X

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Abstract

The past two decades have seen large shifts in the constitutional landscape of the United Kingdom. This began with the devolution of powers from Westminster to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under the first Blair government. More recently, the localism agenda advanced by the Coalition and subsequent Conservative governments has sought to further devolve powers to areas within England, and the constitutional integrity of the UK itself was threatened by 2014s Scottish independence referendum and the 2016 referendum vote for the UK to leave the European Union. It is convenient to regard constitutional reform concerned with the dispersal of power through the creation of new executive and legislative bodies as a modern phenomenon. However, the roots of devolution go back much further. Largely forgotten is the work of the Kilbrandon Commission, established to consider the allocation of executive and legislative power within the UK, which reported in 1973 and effectively produced the first substantial proposals for the devolution of power from Westminster. Almost two decades on from the creation of the devolved institutions for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the present moment is as opportune as any to consider the longer-term legacy of the Kilbrandon Commission. This note revisits the major findings and recommendations of Kilbrandon and attempts to consider the extent to which these have been realised in subsequent constitutional reform initiatives. While difficult to quantify its significance, it is nonetheless important to recognise the relevance of the commission’s work for subsequent and unfinished developments within the area of constitutional reform. © 2017, The Author(s).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1801 Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: School of Law
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 11:51
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2017 11:51
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s10991-017-9206-6
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7485

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