New laws, new bishops and a very late king. All in all, quite a busy week and an eventful, if grubby, end to the present Parliament
On Thursday 26 March, we posted A couple of constitutional snippets indicating: Parliament had been prorogued and would meet again on Monday 18 May; and the provisions of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 had come into force. In addition, the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26 March and under section 2(1) will come into force when the new Parliament meets on 18 May. The Church of England issued a press release stating that under the terms of the Act, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney, announced today as the next Bishop of Gloucester, will become the first female diocesan bishop to join the Bishops’ Benches in the House of Lords. Archdeacon Rachel will take the place vacated by the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, who retires on July 11. She will be introduced into the House of Lords after the summer recess.
Another item with constitutional implications was the publication on 26 March of the Supreme Court judgement R (Evans & Anor) v Attorney General  UKSC 21 in relation to letters from the Prince of Wales to members of the Government. In addition to ruling that such letters were not confidential under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000: Continue reading