Lords Committee takes evidence for referendums inquiry

13 January 2010

The House of Lords Constitution Committee continue their new inquiry into referendums at 11.00 am by taking oral evidence from Peter Kellner, President of YouGov, Peter Facey, Director of Unlock Democracy, Professor Stuart Weir, Associate Director of Democratic Audit and Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, a leading Barrister and QC and expert in civil liberties and constitutional issues


11.00 am

  • Peter Kellner, President, YouGov
  • Peter Facey, Director, Unlock Democracy

11.45 am

  • Professor Stuart Weir, Associate Director, Democratic Audit
  • Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC

The Constitution Committee inquiry will focus on referendums and the potential constitutional impact of their greater use in the UK. They will also consider whether proposed changes to the UK’s constitution should be subject to referendums.

The witnesses will be asked a range of questions on referendums including:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the referendum as a democratic tool?
  • Are referendums compatible with the UK’s system of Parliamentary democracy?
  • What lessons can be learnt from international experience of referendums?
  • What are the arguments for and against the use of threshold requirements in referendums?
  • What are their views on other tools such as citizen’s initiatives? How does the referendum relate to such tools?

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