Labour's ‘Juridification’ of the Constitution

Posted: 5 Aug 2009

See all articles by Roger Masterman

Roger Masterman

Durham Law School, Durham University

Date Written: July 2009


This article responds to a number of points made by Mark Bevir in his article ‘The Westminster Model, Governance and Judicial Reform’ [Parliamentary Affairs 61 (2008), 559-77], in which Bevir highlights the ‘increasing role of the courts in the processes of collective decision-making’ which has been the result of, inter alia (but of particular importance to Bevir's argument), the passage and implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. This article puts forward an alternate view of Labour's recent record on constitutional reform, arguing that, while the contemporary constitution may have seen an increased degree of ‘juridification’ of the sort described by Bevir, the strengthening and development of political mechanisms of accountability has also been of considerable importance to Labour's constitutional reform programme, and that, as a result, the ‘juridification’ of the constitution is not the incontrovertible and relentless process that Bevir appears to suggest.

Suggested Citation

Masterman, Roger, Labour's ‘Juridification’ of the Constitution (July 2009). Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 62, Issue 3, pp. 476-492, 2009, Available at SSRN: or

Roger Masterman (Contact Author)

Durham Law School, Durham University ( email )

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