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RUSImotifDeploying troops and waging war requires law. Britain's war powers have been regulated for hundreds of years under the Royal Prerogative. These powers give maximum discretion to government, a minimal role to Parliament and no role whatsoever to the courts. This arrangement is about to change. The Government has initiated a wide ranging review of war powers stating that the existing measures are incompatible with 'modern democracy'. Creating parliamentary oversight of military deployments without destroying their effectiveness is a highly complex matter.

This conference will explore the different options for change and their impact on decision making and military activity. The wrong change could dramatically alter the way Britain engages its forces.

Among the themes which will be explored are:

  • The current legal practice in the UK
  • Practice of other leading democracies
  • Reform alternatives
  • Military and political implications of change 

Confirmed speakers and chairmen include:

  • Sir Paul Lever KCMG, Chairman, Royal United Services Institute 
  • The Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP, Chairman, House of Commons Defence Committee 
  • Professor Anthony Bradley, Professor Emeritus of Constitutional Law, University of Edinburgh
  • Sebastian Payne, Lecturer in Constitutional and Administrative Law, University of Kent 
  • The Rt Hon Lord King of Bridgwater CH, Former Secretary of State for Defence, House of Lords
  • Dr Katja Ziegler, University Lecturer and Fellow in Law, St Hilda's College, Oxford
  • Dr David Jenkins, Lecturer, School of Law, University of Aberdeen 
  • Professor Dawn Oliver FBA, Professor of Constitutional Law, University College London 
  • The Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell CBE QC MP, Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, House of Commons
  • The Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, Former Lord Chancellor, House of Lords
  • Professor Steven Haines, Professor of Strategy and the Law of Military Operations, Royal Holloway, University of London 
  • Major General Graham Messervy-Whiting CBE FRUSI FCMI, Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute
  • Field Marshal Lord Vincent of Coleshill GBE KCB DSO, Former Chief of the Defence Staff, House of Lords      

This event is in association with the Constitutional Law Group 

For all general enquiries, please contact Rachel Bowden, Events Manager at

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