UK Constitutional Law Association

An important aspect of the International Association of Constitutional Law’s role is to be an ‘association of associations’, working with national bodies to develop a network of constitutionalists from countries throughout the world and providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and information about constitutional systems.

In the first of a series of profiles of national associations affiliated to the IACL, the blog outlines the work of the UK Constitutional Law Association. The purpose of the profiles is to raise awareness of the work of national associations, to share innovations and help build contacts.

UK Constitutional Law Association

Mission statement: to encourage and promote the advancement of knowledge relating to United Kingdom constitutional law (broadly defined) and the study of constitutions generally.

Membership: approximately 100. Annual membership costs GBP 20 (or GBP 10 for doctoral students and associate members outside academia). About 20 per cent of members are from outside the United Kingdom.

Leadership: Mr Sebastian Payne, Kent Law School, UK is President. There is a 12-person executive committee drawn from law schools across the United Kingdom.

Website and blog: blog publishes two or three posts a week. Although the focus is on United Kingdom constitutional law, it also covers developments in several other jurisdictions.

Events: the UKCLA organises several events a year, often in collaboration with other organisations such as the Constitution Society (an independent, non-party educational foundation), the Study of Parliament Group (which brings together staff of British and Irish Parliamentary Assemblies and academics working in the field of parliamentary studies) and the Italian-based Devolution Club. A forthcoming event is a conference on ‘Debating the Constitution after the General Election’ at the University of Manchester on 24 June 2015 (the UK general election is on 7 May).

Other activities: the UKCLA has recently launched a register of PhD students, to enable doctoral students to contact others with shared interests, to help build a national community of postgraduate research scholars, and for the wider academy to know about the rich and diverse range of projects currently being undertaken.

History: originally formed as an informal group in 2003 by Professor Tony Bradley and colleagues, it was subsequently led by Professor Dawn Oliver (2005-10), and Professor Andrew Le Sueur and Sebastian Payne (2010-2014);  The group constituted itself as a more formal Association in January 2014, with Andrew Le Sueur as its first president.

The IACL blog editors welcome profiles of other national constitutional law bodies. To feature your institution here, please email Profiles may be in English, French or Spanish.