Devolution, debate and change: Changing the UK's constitutional settlements

Howells, Carol and Parks, Edwin (2020). Devolution, debate and change: Changing the UK's constitutional settlements. In: Claydon, Lisa; Derry, Caroline and Ajevski, Marjan eds. Law in Motion: 50 years of Legal Change. The Open University Law School, pp. 17–36.



Devolution has been 'a process not an event' resulting in new constitutional settlements . This chapter covers the processes of devolution, processes which mirror the first 50 years of the Open University and the first 22 years of the OU Law School. The chapter explores the devolution of powers to parliaments in Scotland and Wales. It begins with the referendums of the early 1970s and traces events leading up to both the initial transfer of powers and those resulting in subsequent transfer of powers. The process has not been without its critics and the use of differing models helped create complexity re-enforcing historical legacies. Devolution created new legal orders and challenged accepted traditional constitutional theory. The story is not yet over.

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