The Putney Debates 2017

Constitutional Crisis in the United Kingdom

Session I: Parliament and the People

2.00-4.00pm, Thursday 2nd February

Denis Galligan (CHAIR), Oxford Socio-Legal Professor and Putney Debates convenor: Parliament and the People

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Law Professor, Queen Mary University: Parliamentary Sovereignty v Popular Sovereignty

David Runciman, Cambridge political theorist and London Review of Books columnist: The electoral system and the constitution

Michael Mansfield QC, human rights barrister: Valuing the Vote

John Rees, author and spokesperson for The People's Assembly: The Levellers and the Sovereignty of the People

Sir Richard Sorabji, Oxford philosopher and historian: Athens, 17th century England and the Contrast with 18th-19th century America

Akeel Bilgrami, Philosophy Professor, Columbia University: Contemporary Populism and What it Signifies

Vernon BogdanorProfessor of Government, KCL: Popular Sovereignty

Anna Coote, Social Policy Analyst, New Economics Foundation: Building a New Social Commons: People and Parliament Working Together

Alexandra Runswick, Director, Unlock Democracy: Brexit and the Case for a Peoples Constitution


Session II: Changing and Strengthening the Role of the People

5.30-7.30pm, Thursday 2nd February

Paul Craig (CHAIR), Oxford Law Professor & Member of Venice Commission: Changing and Strengthening the Role of the People

Philip Kay, Businessman and author of Rome's Economic Revolution: Is Representative Democracy Ripe for Review and Modification in Favour of More Direct Democracy?

Will Hutton, Writer and Political economist: Empowering the Local

John Howell, Governance, finance & development advisor: Unfinished Revolution

Philip Schofield, Professor of Legal & Political Thought, UCL: ‘The People is my Caesar’ Jeremy Bentham’s Radical Democratic State

Robert Hazell CBE, Founder of the Constitution Unit, UCL: We Need Fewer Referendums, with Higher Thresholds

Anne Deighton, Oxford Professor of European Politics: Referendums for EU Politics?

Talha Ahmad, Solicitor and Muslim Council of Britain Committee Member: Muscular liberalism vs inclusive pluralism in post Brexit Britain

Linda Risso, Senior Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, London: Social media and democracy

Mark Knights, History Professor, University of Warwick: Pre-Modern Petitioning and its Implications Today


Session III: Parliament, the Executive, the Courts and the Rule of Law

2.00-4.00pm, Friday 3rd February

Joshua Rozenberg (CHAIR), legal commentator: Parliament, the Executive, the Courts and the Rule of Law

Sir Stephen Sedley, former Lord Justice of Appeal & ad hoc ECtHR judge: Does the Separation of Powers Still Work?

Alison Young, Oxford Professor of Public Law: Prerogative Powers: Are they still needed in the 21st Century?

Adam Wagner, Barrister & Founder of UK Human Rights Blog: The Case for Judicial Review and Human Rights Law

Rob Murray, lead partner at Mishcon de Reya LLP, representing Gina Miller in Article 50 case: The Key Findings of the Supreme Court in the Miller/Article 50 Case

Jonathan Lis, Deputy Director, British Influence: Enemies of Democracy: Taking Back Control through the Courts

Catherine Barnard, Cambridge EU Law Professor: The Legal Constraints on Moving Forward

David Vines, Director of Oxford Programme on Political Economy of Financial Markets: The Role of Experts in Parliamentary Democracy

Michael Dougan, Professor of European Law, Liverpool University: The UK’s Institutional Balance of Power After Leaving the EU


Session IV: Preserving the Liberal Constitution

5.30-7.30pm, Friday 3rd February

Baroness Onora O’Neill (CHAIR), Cross-Bench Peer and Cambridge philosopher: Preserving the Liberal Constitution

Timothy Garton Ash, Oxford Professor of European Studies and Guardian columnist: Voice, Free Speech and Democracy

Frank Vibert, Senior Visiting Fellow, LSE: Rights in the Liberal Constitution

Michael Keating, Professor & Director of Centre on Constitutional Change: Plurinational Democracy

Ailsa Newby, Rector of St Mary's Church, Putney: The Judeo-Christian Principles Underlying the Constitution

Anthony Barnett, Founder of openDemocracy: Democracy Started Here and is Still Just Beginning

AC Grayling, Philosopher and prominent Brexit critic: Constitutionalism: Why it has to be written

Richard Clary, Partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: Thoughts from Across the Pond: The US Constitution and Representative Democracy (1787, 2017)

Denis Galligan, Oxford Socio-Legal Professor and Putney Debates convenor: The Putney Debates 2017: Concluding comments