Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Cabinet Manual - new draft

The Cabinet Office has published a draft Cabinet Manual which sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of Government.

The Manual gives an overview of the UK system of Government, including how the Executive – the Government and the Civil Service – relates to Her Majesty the Queen, devolved administrations and international institutions such as the European Union (EU).

It reflects the importance of Parliament and Cabinet government, and the democratic nature of the UK’s constitutional arrangements.

The manual is primarily intended to provide a guide for members of Cabinet, other Ministers, and Civil Servants in the carrying out of government business, but will also serve to bring greater transparency about the mechanisms of Government, informing the public whom the government serves.

It is possible to comment on this draft document - see Cabinet Office _ Cabinet Manual Published.  

It is somewhat worrying that constitutional changes might be occurring in this way and it might be preferable for such matters to emerge from a cross-party body charged with reviewing consitutional arrangements?    Of course, the absence of a formal written consitution makes it possible to alter things in subtle ways and perhaps "guidance" documents stating how matters "ought" to work is one way of achieving such changes.  The Guardian - "We the people deserve something better than a high-class villain's charter" - is very critical of this development seeing it as an attempt to write a blueprint for a dictatorship.  The document is 150 pages long and covers a considerable range of issues.  Further comment must therefore be reserved for later.


  1. I have rarely if ever read such an assembly of quality legal blogs under a same day heading. My hat is off to you sir.

  2. Justice - many thanks for your comment. Just had a slight does of the 'flu so had little else to do but sit here with "hot toddies", feel sorry for myself, and write. My interest through the year on how the EU is infiltrating into our criminal justice processes is borne out by the Assange case. I have been looking at the Peaceful Protest item for some time but it probably needed the recent events to make me finalise it.

    I am sure that Closure of Courts is a concern to you and your JP colleagues but we knew that 15th December was when the decisions would be announced. The main rationale in all of it seems to be cost cutting and little else. If a building (e.g. Salford) needed money spending on it then the court there was clearly doomed. Of course, now they hope to flog off such buildings to developers.

    Many thanks again and keep up the good blogging yourself. You have a distinctive style and do some good stuff.

  3. Ed (not Bystander)16 December 2010 at 03:41

    Get well soon, ObiterJ.