As the U.K. (or at least parts of it) lurches toward Brexit, the governing classes have managed to produce quite a number of the most pressing issues of politics, economics, and social policy. However, in the process they have managed to create some quite interesting issues of constitutional law--not merely the tediously arcane sort that tends to get constitutional lawyers excited but that tend to amount to squabbles among interpretive schools all aligned within fundamental political principles within which such squabbles may take place in an orderly way.
Of course Britain has gotten itself into all sorts of issues with respect to the relentless march of Parliamentary supremacy since the 17th century. Some argue that the UK might well have sacrificed its first colonial empire in the New World on the alter of Parliamentary supremacy as then being asserted. Old wounds heal, of course, but prerogative is forever. Where once the question revolved around the authority of the Crown in Parliament, now the squabbling has turned inward. How does the parliamentary system account to itself from out of the apparatus it itself has fashioned to further its own supremacy? The stakes are (as always when these things burst on the scene) quite high, and the timing could not have been more delicate.
It is in this context that I am delighted to circulate a marvelous essay by Alex Green. Entitled, The Importance and Precarity of Accountability in the Prorogation Litigation, the essay steps back from the more technical questions that have been centered in the contemporary discourse to consider the prorogation litigation as a flashpoint for a more fundamental and abstract issue: what place does accountability hold within the constitutional order of the United Kingdom? That, after all, is the fundamental question through which those with an interest in the character of the U.K.'s political order might as, as Professor Green argues to "think very hard, as a political community, about the kind of polity we want to be."
Alex Green is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law at the University of Hong Kong, having joined in August 2017. His current research, which has been funded by the Modern Law Review, concerns the moral nature of legal statehood and its role in determining the content of public international law. More broadly, he is interested in legal and political theory, moral philosophy, private law, public international law and human rights. Alex currently teaches LLB and JD Tort Law and is Deputy-Director of the Outgoing Exchange Program.