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Brexit and the Constitution

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Stephen Tierney explores the United Kingdom’s constitution through the lens of the Brexit process, drawing out the constitutional issues and complexities brought to light by Brexit. In the first module, we introduce the topic and offer some key foundational information, such as Dicey’s definitions of parliamentary sovereignty. Then, in the second module, we examine the referendum alongside the concept of popular sovereignty, before turning in the third module to look in-depth at Parliament and consider how the relationship between the Lords and Commons was affected by the Brexit process. In the fourth module, we explore the relationship between Parliament and the Executive in the context of Brexit (as well as and what this reveals about the UK Constitution), before in the fifth module turning to the relationship between Parliament and the Supreme Court. In the sixth module we consider UK devolution in the context of Brexit, before finishing in the seventh module with some concluding remarks on parliamentary sovereignty, the legislative supremacy of Parliament, and how Brexit has illuminated constitutional complexities in the relationships between government, Parliament, and the Supreme Court. This course is particularly relevant for students of UK Politics and UK Government, as well as those more generally interested in the constitutional issues raised by Brexit.

About the Lecturer

Professor Stephen Tierney is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee since 2015 and a Board Member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. His teaching and research interests lie in the constitutional law of the United Kingdom, comparative constitutional law and the constitutional theory of the state, direct democracy and federalism. He recently published 'The Federal Contract: A Constitutional Theory of Federalism' (2022).

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