How we are governed

How we are governed

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Event type: Public Lectures

7 April 2017 from 12.30 pm - 1.30 pm 7th Apr 2017 12:30pm 7th Apr 2017 1:30pm

GBLT3, Ground Floor, Faculty of Law, Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Professor Alan Page, University of Dundee


  • Māmari Stephens, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Andrew Butler, Russell McVeagh

The emergence of the Scottish Parliament as 'one of the most powerful subnational parliaments in the world' following the 2014 independence referendum underlines the importance of the sub-state dimension of a state's constitutional arrangements. An effective system of governance requires a balance between ‘the ability to conduct the business of government effectively and the limitation of the executive power of government in order to avoid abuse of power and the loss of democratic consent’. How that balance is secured is among the enduring concerns of constitutional lawyers.

Professor Page is presently undertaking a study of comparable-sized Parliamentary systems and investigating the appropriate balance between political and judicial controls on governmental power. In this address, Professor Page will explore similarities and differences in the nature control and accountability of government in Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. He will also reflect on whether any lessons might be drawn for the prospects for constitutionalism in Scotland - whether as a newly independent state following a second independence referendum or as a continuing part of the United Kingdom.


Professor Alan Page is Professor of Public Law at the University of Dundee. He has published extensively in the fields of public law, EU law and financial services law, including Constitutional Law of Scotland (W Green, Thomson Reuter 2015) and The Executive in the Constitution: Structure, Autonomy and Internal Control (OUP 1999) (with Terence Daintith). He has acted as a specialist adviser to parliamentary committees in both the United Kingdom Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, and to the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the United Nations in respect of many of the 'transition' countries of central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

This address is hosted by the NZ Centre for Public Law in association with the University of Auckland and with the generous support of the New Zealand Law Foundation.