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Centre of British Constitutional Law and History

About the Centre

The Centre of British Constitutional Law & History conducts research, scholarship and policy analysis on constitutional affairs. Founded in 1988 by Robert Blackburn, Professor of Constitutional Law, with the support of the law and history departments and Principal of the College, it promotes scholarship through teaching course development and public lectures and seminars, and research through independent projects, conferences, and co-operation with projects of other institutions and individuals engaged in constitutional study. The Centre specialises in an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of constitutional problems and law reform developments.


Professor Robert Blackburn, PhD, LLD, FRHistS

Postgraduate research

Applications for postgraduate research are welcome from suitably qualified candidates, including graduates in law, political science, history, and public policy. Supervision is offered on most areas of constitutional study, especially the nature of the constitution, the institutions and processes of government (including the monarchy), the working of Parliament, voting and elections, fundamental rights, constitutional events or themes in English history, and current or prospective constitutional reform proposals.

Subjects of past or current MPhil/PhD theses include House of Commons legislative committees, the conduct of public inquiries, ministerial statements under the Human Rights Act, parliamentary scrutiny of European legislation, the practice and reform of political lobbying, Parliament and the Church of England (the making of ecclesiastical law), and the regulation of parliamentary candidature and membership.

Selected publications

  • Constitutional Studies: Current Issues and Controversies, ed. Robert Blackburn*
  • The Electoral System in Britain, Robert Blackburn*
  • Towards a Constitutional Bill of Rights for the UK, Robert Blackburn*
  • The Meeting and Dissolution of Parliament, Robert Blackburn*
  • Parliament: Functions, Practice & Procedures (2nd ed), Robert Blackburn, Andrew Kennon & Sir Michael Wheeler-Booth
  • Fundamental Rights in Europe: The European Convention on Human Rights and its Member States 1950-2000, ed. Robert Blackburn & Jörg Polakiewicz
  • Constitutional Reform: The Labour Government’s Constitutional Reform Agenda, ed. Robert Blackburn & Raymond Plant

* Available from the Centre


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