Constitution Unit

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The Constitution Unit
The Constitution Unit logo.png
DirectorProfessor Meg Russell

The Constitution Unit is a think tank based within the Department of Political Science at University College London which analyses constitutional change and its effects. The Unit was founded in 1995 by Robert Hazell and specialises in the study of devolution, parliament and parliamentary reform, freedom of information legislation, church and state, courts and the legal system.


The Constitution Unit was founded by Robert Hazell in 1995 to conduct detailed research and planning on constitutional reform in the UK.[1][2]

In June 1999 the Unit launched a series of studies on devolution, with work focused on proportional voting systems, comparisons of the new assemblies with the Westminster model, multi-level democracy, Scottish independence and the governance and management of the health services in each devolved country.[3]

A 2009 study by the Constitution Unit titled "Making Minority Parliament Work: Hung Parliaments and the Challenges for Westminster and Whitehall" led to the publication of a Cabinet Manual by the British Government in December 2010.[4] The Constitution Unit, in partnership with the London-based Institute for Government, played a key role in the writing of the Manual.[5]

In July 2010 the Constitution Unit received widespread publicity when it criticised reform bills published by the British Government on fixed-term parliaments and electoral change as being "reckless and rushed".[6]


The Constitution Unit publishes a triannual newsletter called Monitor'..[7][8] It contains analysis of constitutional developments in the UK and details about the Unit’s research and publications.[7]


  1. ^ "About us". University College London. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. ^ Mitchell, James (2014). The Scottish Question. OUP Oxford. ISBN 0191002372.
  3. ^ "UCL to study newly devolved countries". Times Higher Education. 4 June 1999. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  4. ^ Jackson, D. Michael; Lagassé, Philippe (2014). Canada and the Crown: Essays in Constitutional Monarchy. McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 1553392051.
  5. ^ "Ignore what Canadians politicians say about a coalition government". Toronto Star. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  6. ^ "In praise of … the Constitution Unit". The Guardian. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Monitor". University College London. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  8. ^ Garnett, Mark; Lynch, Philip (2016). Exploring British Politics. Routledge. ISBN 1317551648.

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