Programme Details

The Putney Debates 2018: Powers to the Peoples – Electoral Reform and a Federal UK?


Denis GalliganOxford Socio-Legal Professor and Putney Debates convenor, will Chair the Debates

Session I: A Federal United Kingdom? The Pros and Cons

2.00-4.00pm, Friday 2nd February

Margaret Kelly, Former Cabinet public servant and Lecturer in Law, Sydney will set out the opening arguments for and against a federal system

Michael DouganProminent Brexit critic and expert in European Law, Liverpool, will discuss the UK internal market and its far-reaching implications for constitutional relations across the constituent nations of the UK

Sionaidh Douglas-ScottHuman Rights expert, Queen Mary University on the rights of Scottish citizens with respect to the referendum result and the case for greater devolved powers

Richard ClaryPartner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, will offer insights into the legal and political implications of a federalist model from across the pond

Catherine Barnard, Cambridge expert in European Law, on the European model of federalism


Session II: The Electoral System: Is It Time for Reform?

5.30-7.30pm, Friday 2nd February

Robert Hazell CBEFounder of the Constitution Unit, and the Independent Commission on Proportional Representation, will open Session II with his insights on electoral reform

Anna Coote, social policy analyst, writer, and advocate, on the ways the electoral system reflects wider social phenomena concerning power, inequality, and control

Mark Knights, History Professor, Warwick, on corruption, iniquities, and reform within the UK electoral system over the centuries

Alexandra Runswick, Director of Unlock Democracy, will outline her proposals for electoral reform

Philip Schofield, Professor of Legal & Political Thought, UCL, will present a Benthamic perspective on the question of electoral reform

Sir Richard Sorabji, eminent historian and philosopher, Oxford will comment on the country's needs and national morale in relation to legislative change


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