ConstitutionUK - Crowdsourcing the UK Constitution

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We will update this blog with upcoming news including exciting upcoming public events. Further, we will alert you to when a new video with Professor Conor Gearty talking with an expert on a challenge topic is available to watch, so keep checking for updates!

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Constitution UK has been featured in Wired.co.uk!  

LSE is crowdsourcing a British constitution online

The London School of Economics Institute of Public Affairs launched ConstitutionUK earlier this month -- an online crowdsourcing initiative where members of the British public have the chance to help draft their own constitution.

Headed by professor of human rights law at LSE, Conor Gearty, the initiative aims to inform the public of constitutional affairs, and get them to share opinions on what it means to be British.

The website categorises the constitution into ten key sections ranging from the powers of parliament to the role of the head of state. The public can contribute to each section, sharing their views and values. The platform is open until mid-March, after which, 20 people will be chosen to help distill the information into a written constitution at a Constitutional Convention held at the Institute of Public Affairs.

But why have such an initiative now?

"A lot of people don't know much about the constitution," spokesperson for ConstitutionUK, Daniel Regan, told WIRED.co.uk. 

"The right to an education, healthcare and employment are all constitutional issues, but people don't see it in this framework," said Regan. "We want to explain that the constitution is part of our daily lives, and not just a concern for judges and experts."

The initiative has been in the works since 2013. However, speaking of the public's current discontent and apathy with the political system, Regan noted the significance of acting in 2015 -- given that it is both an election year, and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

"[The Magna Carta] is still a valid document today. Is it right that a document from 800 years ago should have a significant impact on our lives today?" asks Regan, who points to the importance of reevaluating British values and identities in the wake of the Scottish and EU debates.

Constitution UK's visit to Cambridge was covered by ITV News!

People in Cambridge are being asked to draft a new UK constitution.

It's to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The event is part of a 10-week internet project to give people a direct say on how the country should be run. It takes place at Cambridge University later today.

Human rights lawyer and IPA Director Professor Conor Gearty says the lack of a formal Constitution in the UK is the basis for the crowd sourcing project.

"With the public's help, we have already agreed on a set of values which will underpin a new Constitution. It is crucial that we get the views of ordinary people and not rely on academics or politicians to dominate the debate."

– Conor Gearty

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