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Leading Academics to give evidence on inter-governmental relations in the UK

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week take evidence from leading constitutional academics in the first evidence session for its inquiry into inter-governmental relations in the UK. 

The Committee's inquiry follows the publication of the Smith Commission report on further devolution of powers to Scotland and the plans for further devolution to other parts of the UK. It will focus on how current inter-governmental relations can be improved, as well as how Parliament can best scrutinise these arrangements.

The Committee will take evidence on Wednesday 7 January in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords from:


  • Professor Alan Trench, UCL Constitution Unit 
  • Professor Richard Wyn Jones, University of Cardiff


  • Professor Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Alan Page, University of Dundee

In the first session, which will focus on the UK as a whole as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, the witnesses will be asked how effective are current arrangements for inter-governmental cooperation within the UK and what mechanisms exist to resolve disputes between governments. They will also be questioned on what improvements could be made and what recommendations they would like to see taken forward from the Silk, Calman and Smith Commissions.

The second session will focus on Scotland in light of the Smith Commission's conclusion that inter-governmental mechanisms between the UK and Scottish Government's need to be improved as a ‘matter of urgency'. The Committee will ask the witnesses what changes might be made to the current mechanisms that govern relations between the UK Government and the devolved administrations, and what lessons the UK can learn from overseas.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening. 

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