Queen's University Belfast

Posts by authors affiliated with Queen's University Belfast

20 February 2024
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Towards a Digital Constitution

The DSA exemplifies the EU's efforts to create a fairer, more responsible digital environment. Through the DSA, the EU appears to be advancing a process of constitutionalisation of Internet governance, as an important milestone in the evolving landscape of “digital constitutionalism”, aiming to establish a unified framework of rights, principles, and governance norms for the digital space, while also contributing to the development of new governance structures and regulatory bodies dedicated to effectively safeguarding fundamental rights online.

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14 February 2023

Allister and Peeples

The ruling in Allister and Peeples of 8 February 2023 serves as a potent reminder that the UK has yet to fully say goodbye to Brexit. The matter being scrutinised was the Northern Ireland Protocol and questions surrounding its constitutionality within the famously uncodified UK constitution. Critically, the UK Supreme Court appears to have poured cold water on the idea that certain Acts of the UK Parliament have a constitutional character (the constitutional statutes doctrine). It is my suggestion, however, that the doctrine has not entirely been consigned to history.

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15 November 2022

The post-Brexit Breakdown of the Rule of Law in the UK

The sad reality is that Brexit has contributed to an emerging breakdown of the Rule of Law in the United Kingdom. The famous slogan: ‘Take Back Control’ left open what a post-Brexit society should become. As a result, of course, what Brexit meant had to be worked out after the referendum, and here is where the tensions with the Rule of Law began in earnest, because ‘taking back control’ became, in effect, the only principle and anything that stood in the way of achieving that result was to be sacrificed, including the Rule of Law.

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29 May 2022

The Never-Ending Struggle Over (Northern) Ireland

Claiming the need to “protect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions”, the UK government threatens once again to adopt legislation unilaterally changing the Protocol Ireland/Northern Ireland. In legal terms, this would constitute a breach of the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK. But does the Good Friday Agreement indeed exclude divergence between Northern Ireland and Great Britain or even demand protecting trade from GB to Northern Ireland?

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03 May 2022

Next Chapter, in a Larger Story

The Northern Ireland Assembly election is generating much speculation about the wider consequences. Beyond the usual implications of any vote in Northern Ireland, there is heightened interest in what it might mean for the debate on the constitutional future, as well as the ongoing and intense dialogue about the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. There are sound reasons to view this election as historic, but it would be wise to place the projected outcome, if it unfolds, in context.

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