The House of Lords 1911-2011: A Century of Non-Reform - Hart Studies in Constitutional Law (Paperback)
  • The House of Lords 1911-2011: A Century of Non-Reform - Hart Studies in Constitutional Law (Paperback)
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The House of Lords 1911-2011: A Century of Non-Reform - Hart Studies in Constitutional Law (Paperback)

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Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 07/08/2014
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House of Lords reform is often characterised as unfinished business: a riddle that has been left unanswered since 1911. But rarely can an unanswered riddle have had so many answers offered, even though few have been accepted; indeed, when Viscount Cave was invited in the mid-1920s to lead a Cabinet committee on Lords reform, he complained of finding 'the ground covered by an embarrassing mass of proposals'.That embarrassing mass increased throughout the twentieth century. Much ink has been spilled on what should be done with the upper House of Parliament; much less ink has been expended on why reform has been so difficult to achieve. This book analyses in detail the principal attempts to reform the House of Lords. Starting with the Parliament Act of 1911 the book examines the century of non-reform that followed, drawing upon substantial archival sources, many of which have been under-utilised until now. These sources challenge many of the existing understandings of the history of House of Lords reform and the reasons for success or failure of reform attempts. The book begins by arguing against the popular idea that the 1911 Act was intended by its supporters to be a temporary measure. 'No one - peers included - should be allowed to pronounce about the future of the House of Lords without reading Chris Ballinger's authoritative, shrewd and readable account about reform attempts over the past century. He punctures several widely-held myths and claims in the current debate.' Rt Hon Peter Riddell CBE Director, Institute for Government and former Hansard Society chair 'This is at once an impeccably researched academic study, and a thoroughly readable account loaded with lessons for today's would-be Lords reformers.' Lord (David) Lipsey

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781849466608
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 417 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This excellent book examines House of Lords reform over the 100-year period following the 1911 Parliament Act..Ballinger is very good at contextualising each attempted reform in the immediate politics of the period when it was under development. -- Donald Shell * Public Law, No. 1/2014 *
This work reflects an impressive depth of knowledge and research that is presented in a clear and disciplined writing style. Every chapter commences with arresting quotes that whet the appetite of the general reader as well as the specialist. A blizzard of complex data is made accessible through compression into a number of useful tables. Shrewd analysis challenges entrenched myths concerning House of Lords reform...This work offers much to attract political and legal historians. -- Thomas Mohr * Irish Jurist, 2013(2) *
It would be an understatement to say that reform of the House of Lords (in its legislative capacity) is a holy grail of British politics. This book throws a vast amount of light on the reasons why so little has come of the various attempts at reform since the idea was first mooted more than a century ago. All the relevant arguments and controversies are addressed, comprehensively and competently. Anyone involved in the ongoing efforts at tackling this thorny issue could do worse than consult this book. * The Commonwealth Lawyer, Volume 22, No 2 *
This is a remarkably good book: authoritative, insightful, shrewd, and eminently readable [and] one that I cannot recommend highly enough...The quality of the book is underpinned not only by its scope but also by Chris Ballinger's in-depth, detailed analysis. It is further underpinned by the author's very apparent understanding of the totality of the topic, and especially of the nature - and indeed changing nature - of House of Lords reform over the years...something that is not always possible to say about those who write, let alone speak, on this topic...Quite clearly this book should be mandatory reading for anyone with any interest in the subject of the House of Lords...Certainly anyone either thinking about, or determined to embark upon, House of Lords reform in the future will be well served by having read - and inwardly digested - Chris Ballinger's study. -- Nicholas D.J. Baldwin * The Journal of Legislative Studies *
Well researched, it is no dry academic treatise, but provides real insight into how and why all attempts at fundamental change have failed. -- Bob Hughes (Lord Hughes of Woodside) * Progress Online *
The books covers each attempt at reform in remarkable detail, demonstrating the author's deep familiarity with the subject. The footnotes are a trove of information...It is to be hoped that at some point a second edition will cover these (and no doubt other) developments with the same elegance and mastery as Dr Ballinger demonstrates in this splendid book. Surely he is unrivalled in academia in his depth of knowledge of this subject. -- Nicolas Besly * The Table *

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