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Series: Pocket Politics
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This book is a series of 'remarks' and 'sketches', which together form a mosaic to show how the use of the referendum followed a strict, almost Hegelian pattern of the 'unfolding of freedom' throughout the ages. It outlines how referendums have been used in Britain and abroad, presenting some of the arguments for and against this institution. The book commences with an outline of the world history of the referendum from the French Revolution to the present day, and then discusses the British experience up to 2010. The book examines the referendum on European Economic Community membership in 1975, considering the alternative vote referendum in 2011 and the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. Next, the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in 2016, especially the campaign leading up to it, is discussed. After the analysis of the Brexit referendum, the book touches on the Maltese referendum on divorce in 2011. It summarises some of the trends and tendencies in the use of the referendum internationally, highlighting that Britain is not a unique case in holding referendums. The book shows that, notwithstanding the general assumptions about referendums, these are not usually associated with demagogues and populism, but the referendum has tended to be used as a constitutional safeguard. However, in Britain, a country without a formal written constitution, these safeguards were not in place. For the referendum to work, for this institution to be a constitutional safeguard, it must be a people's shield and not the government's sword.

Matt Qvortrup

This chapter deals with the British referendums in the 1970s and beyond. It looks at the referendum on EEC membership that took place in the mid-1970s and the history lessons learnt from the 1975 referendum. The chapter discusses Harold Wilson's renegotiation of the EEC membership and the referendum which saw 67.2 per cent voted for Britain to stay in Europe. David Cameron held two referendums and presided over a third. In 2011 the questions were devolution to Wales and whether to replace the first-past-the-post electoral system with the alternative vote, and three years later in 2014 it was the issue of Scottish independence. Britishers voted that Welsh Assembly could pass primary legislation, that the existing electoral system be retained and that Scotland remains in the United Kingdom.

in Government by referendum
Abstract only
Wyn Grant

Over time the nature of lobbying in the UK has changed. Coalition and minority governments provide a range of lobbying targets, and assessing the balance of forces within government becomes more difficult. This chapter examines how lobbying is carried out. It discusses how lobbyists frame or define a policy issue and challenge existing framings, the initative taken by governments to consult stakeholders and the increasing use of actions taken by court and judicial reviews of government decisions. The chapter explores the role of social media in revolutionising lobbying and the forming of advocacy coalitions by campaigning organisations to enhance their influence. It also discusses influencing of the European Union (EU) as more decisions are taken by the EU when compared to those of individual member countries.

in Lobbying
A new source of international law?
Nigel D. White

Although there are controversies about the UN Security Council making binding general international law, this should not disguise the fact that the UN General Assembly has been hugely influential in shaping international law since 1948. This chapter explores institutional lawmaking in the modern era, looking in detail at the impact of General Assembly Resolutions on outer space in the 1960s and the WHO's Health Regulations. Both the General Assembly Resolutions and the WHO's Health Regulations are shown to be international laws in their own right and that they are paradigmatic of UN lawmaking more generally. The chapter examines whether inter-governmental organisations, in exercising their autonomous competence, have the potential to produce laws in their own right, irrespective of whether their output feeds into the traditional sources, such as treaties, custom or general principles, of international law.

in The law of international organisations (third edition)
Nigel D. White

This chapter defines and explains an inter-governmental organisation (IGO) and argues that the United Nations (UN) is paradigmatic of this genre. A contrast is made with other forms of organisation, particularly the supranational integration organisation. The chapter also defines the law of international organisations as the law governing, applicable to, and produced by, such organisations, and explains how this is best studied through a focus on the UN and related IGOs. It explores how law and politics work within the UN and helps the reader to understand how to identify and apply the law, and to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the law. The chapter concludes with a case study drawn from the practice of the Security Council involving the exercise of the veto to distinguish when practice is a valid interpretation or development of the law, and when it is a breach.

in The law of international organisations (third edition)
The key to autonomy
Nigel D. White

This chapter addresses the legal construction that helps to answer the question of how the UN and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) are separate and autonomous i.e. independent of member states, when member states have created IGOs and sit and vote in their organs. It reminds the reader about the possibility of creation of separate, abstract legal entities, such as clubs, societies, corporations, and states. In international law there needs to be an assessment of whether IGOs are legal subjects of the international legal order, thereby having international legal personality, separate from the states. The chapter presents the International Court's advisory opinion in the Reparations case, which was in favour of the UN possessing international legal personality, with the concomitant right to bring claims against states.

in The law of international organisations (third edition)
Abstract only
Matt Qvortrup

This introduction covers some key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. In parliamentary systems, referendums are redundant as by seeking a simplistic binary yes/no answer to complex questions, they succumb to emotion and run amok. The book explores whether there more referendums now than in the past, whether that has made the world become more democratic. It examines whether referendums are linked with the growth in social movements in recent years and whether there is a tendency to use alternative channels to challenge the status quo. It also examines whether there is the undeniable prominence of referendums undermining representative democracy. The book outlines the world history of the referendum, and analyses the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and the 2016 vote on the UK's membership to the EU, and summarises some of the trends and tendencies in the use of the referendum internationally.

in Government by referendum
Abstract only
Wyn Grant

The term 'lobbying' derives from the particular location in which the activity supposedly takes place, the parliamentary or legislative lobby. In practice, most lobbying takes place elsewhere: in government offices, in restaurants or online. This chapter presents the arguments in favour of and against lobbying. The expansion and greater sophistication of lobbying makes the task of government more difficult. Lobbyists make demands of government, but they do not provide solutions. One solution that was advanced in the past was to incorporate pressure groups into the business of government. Government cannot satisfy all the demands made by lobbyists, but it may seem to be particularly susceptible to those made by corporate interests. This can undermine citizen confidence in the capacity of government and hence in the democratic process.

in Lobbying
Abstract only
Nigel D. White

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book makes it clear that the law of international organisations is dominated by the united nations (UN). It defines and explains inter-governmentalism and the role of law in its regulation. The book presents a number of case studies that shows how the law works within an institutional order dominated by politics. The case studies highlight the debates that surround even the most basic legal issues; the furore surrounding the membership application of Palestine to join the UN, or the UN's claim to immunity in Haiti where it has been responsible for a catastrophic outbreak of cholera. The book also shows that law plays a significant role in curbing excesses and the abuse of power, as well as facilitating the channelling of power to achieve those purposes.

in The law of international organisations (third edition)
Author:

International organisations are a central component of modern international society. This book provides a concise account of the principles and norms of international law applicable to the intergovernmental organisation (IGO). It defines and explains inter-governmentalism and the role of law in its regulation. The book presents case studies that show how the law works within an institutional order dominated by politics. After a note on the key relationship between the IGO and its member states, it examines the basic relationship between the UN and states in terms of membership through admissions, withdrawal, expulsion, suspension, and representation. The debate about the extent of the doctrine of legal powers is addressed through case studies. Institutional lawmaking in the modern era is discussed with particular focus on at the impact of General Assembly Resolutions on outer space and the Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. Non-forcible measures adopted by the UN and similar IGOs in terms of their legality (constitutionality and conformity to international law), legitimacy and effectiveness, is covered next. The different military responses undertaken by IGOs, ranging from observation and peacekeeping, to peace enforcement and war-fighting, are discussed in terms of legality and practice. The book also considers the idea of a Responsibility to Protect and the development of secondary rules of international law to cover the wrongful acts and omissions of IGOs. It ends with a note on how the primary and secondary rules of international law are upheld in different forms and mechanisms of accountability, including courts.