Graham Allen, Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform select committee, has issued a call to academics asking for participation in a consultation on the future of the UK's constitution. The call is issued below. 

A new Magna Carta? 

I would be grateful if the relevant departments in your university would consider participating in an exciting opportunity to get involved in a consultation on the future of the UK’s constitution, and where possible build it into the course work next term. 

Parliament’s Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee has just published its report “A new Magna Carta?”, which asks whether or not we need a codified constitution for the UK. It outlines a number of options including a fully-fledged Written Constitution.

The full report is available on

The report was launched on 10th July, at the British Library in front of the original Magna Carta, the anniversary of which will make this very topical over the next year

This is intended to mark the start of a major public conversation about the future of our democracy and restoring faith in political activity not least among young people.

Each of the options in the report is open to debate and amendment. The draft Written Constitution has several parts which could be considered together or used to promote  a series of discussions including about the role and powers of the Prime Minister, the Commons, the Second Chamber, the Judiciary, Local Government, and Devolution.

To start the debate, we ask: Does the UK need a Written Constitution? Which, if any, of the options set out do you support? What should a written constitution for the UK contain?

Our constitution belongs to the people of the United Kingdom, not political insiders. It is about how the state exercises power and how it interacts with the people. It is about our democracy. So as the nation celebrates the 800th anniversary of the first Magna Carta we need to look forward as well as back: do we need a new Magna Carta for the next 800 years? Let the debate begin.

The consultation and a series of events will continue until 1st January 2015.  Students can submit their comments via our website or send them by post to the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.  Responses can be from individuals or groups of students.

The Committee will then report to Parliament on the responses from the consultation in time for them to be taken into account ahead of the general election.

I hope your young people will be able to make a contribution to this important debate,

Best wishes

Graham Allen