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Democratic Civilisation or Judicial Supremacy?

Democratic Civilisation or Judicial Supremacy?

David G. Green, March 2016

How should our laws be made and where does final power lie? This question has grown increasingly salient in recent years as the judiciary has pitted itself against Parliament in a series of harmful and absurd rulings. Many of these confrontations have revolved around the Human Rights Act, but far more is at stake. Under our constitution, the legal sovereignty of Parliament ensures that the… [Full Details]

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The Return of Political Patronage

The Return of Political Patronage: How special advisers are taking over from civil servants and why we need to worry about it

Alasdair Palmer, November 2015

The special adviser – or 'spad' – has become firmly established in Westminster folklore over the past two decades, coming to symbolise much that is questionable about modern politics. The likes of Jo Moore, who urged colleagues to use 9/11 to bury bad news, and Damian McBride, who schemed on behalf of Gordon Brown against members of his own cabinet, have lent the Whitehall caricatures of… [Full Details]

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The Problem with Human Rights Law

The Problem with Human Rights Law: Is it out of control? Who is responsible? What is the solution?

By Michael Arnheim, March 2015

Human rights law has been hijacked in the UK by special interest groups seeking to advance their own rights above those of the rest of the population. The European convention has been repeatedly used in a way that weakens the government's ability to defend the country from terrorism or to deal with illegal immigrants. But, while there has been a growing clamour for this… [Full Details]

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The Demise of the Free State

The Demise of the Free State: Why British democracy and the EU don't mix

David G. Green, April 2014

"The great merit of this brilliant and learned book is that it locates the case for withdrawal in the magnificent British tradition of democracy, liberty and tolerance” - Peter Oborne As the UK fast approaches a crossroads in its relationship with the European Union, Civitas director David G Green contrasts the ideals that have evolved in the British political system over many centuries - best described as… [Full Details]

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What Have We Done? The surrender of our democracy to the EU

What Have We Done? The surrender of our democracy to the EU

David G. Green, April 2013

Since joining the European Economic Community in 1973, we have steadily lost the power to govern ourselves. In this necessary and insightful book, David Green describes the essential qualities of the free, open and democratic British system which evolved over 1,000 years. Under our constitution, the fact that the government can be removed immediately by either the Commons or the Crown changes its behaviour… [Full Details]

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Feel Free to Say it

Feel Free to Say it: Threats to freedom of speech in Britain today

Philip Johnston, March 2013

Free speech must include the right to say things that most people don't like or find offensive, otherwise it is no freedom at all. However, Britain is steadily sacrificing its centuries-old commitment to freedom of speech simply to protect people from hearing views they do not like. In this exciting examination of the history of free expression since the 17th century, Philip Johnston… [Full Details]

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Strasbourg in the Dock

Strasbourg in the Dock: Prisoner Voting, Human Rights & the Case for Democracy

Dominic Raab, April 2011

The ruling that convicted prisoners have the right to vote has put the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg at loggerheads with the UK Parliament and, hence, the will of the British people. This was reinforced in 2011 when backbenchers of all parties rejected enfranchising prisoners in a free vote. In this forensic examination, Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, explains how the… [Full Details]

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Total Recall

Total Recall: How direct democracy can improve Brita

Nick Cowen, December 2008

Members of Parliament have traditionally enjoyed total legislative supremacy in the United Kingdom, able to pass or rescind any law of the land. Most citizens of Britain probably think that this is still the case. However, in this worrying examination of the dilution of the sovereignty of parliament by its own members, Nick Cowen shows how they have slowly ceded their powers to ministers, government… [Full Details]

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England and the Need for Nations

England and the Need for Nations

Roger Scruton, February 2004

"The greatest political decisions now confronting us concern the nation and its future. These decisions must be discussed with the utmost honesty if we are to do what is best for our country and for the world." In this classic Civitas pamphlet from 2004, the philosopher Roger Scruton argues that the nation state is the bedrock of democratic progress and that we abandon the concept… [Full Details]

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Reports

Democracy in England: Possible and Necessary
Hugo de Burgh with Jonathan Dibb, Laura Mainwaring, Luke Nightingale, September 2015

The Vote to Make Votes Matter: How we risk a Great British disenfranchisement
Carolina Bracken, February 2011

Trust in Me: politicians and why we hate them
Peter Briffa, November 2005

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Articles for the Media

David Cameron's vast army of unelected spinners and Spads threatens British democracy
Alasdair Palmer, The Telegraph, November 2015

The House of Lords must expel Baron Sewel
David Green, The Telegraph , July 2015

Our liberty is not safe in the hands of judges
David Green, The Telegraph , July 2015

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