1st Edition

Accountability, Impeachment and the Constitution The Case for a Modernised Process in the United Kingdom

By Chris Monaghan Copyright 2022
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book sets out and explores the case for a modernised impeachment process for the United Kingdom.

    The work examines the present law and history of impeachment in the United Kingdom, which today is widely regarded as having fallen into desuetude and its procedures inappropriate for modern conditions. It discusses how impeachment operates in two countries, the United States and Denmark, selected respectively for their marked differences from and similarities to the United Kingdom’s political and constitutional system, for the purposes of illumination and possible lessons for a new impeachment process. The book seeks to provide a balanced and independent examination of the case for this, concluding that it would have a valuable role to play in the future development of the United Kingdom’s system of politics and government. It concludes by setting out a detailed model for the structure, working and effect of impeachment.

    The book will be of interest to students, academics and policy-makers working in the areas of constitutional law and politics.

    Table of cases

    Table of primary legislation


    1 Introduction


    Foundations and use of impeachment

    2 The history and politics of impeachment

    3 Comparative case study I: United States

    4 Comparative case study II: Denmark


    UK Constitution and accountability

    5 Executive accountability in the United Kingdom

    6 The existing political accountability mechanisms


    A case for impeachment

    7 A justification for a possible role for impeachment within the UK system

    8 Reinvigorating impeachment


    9 Re-engineering the British Constitution




    Chris Monaghan is a principal lecturer in law at the University of Worcester and holds a PhD from the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London. He has published widely on aspects of public law.

    "At a time when the ‘good chaps theory of government’ seems to be failing British democracy, Chris Monaghan's Accountability, Impeachment and the Constitution charts a radical new reform agenda. Evidence-based, provocative and incredibly timely... this is the book that could really shape the future of British politics."

    - Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

    "An outstanding work on a much talked-about constitutional device that originated in Britain where it is now defunct, but famously continues to operate in the United States. Chris Monaghan makes a powerful case for a revived and reformed impeachment procedure at Westminster, designed to strengthen ministerial responsibility to Parliament and - at a time when judicial review is under threat - buttress the political forms of control and redress over the abuse of executive power and unconstitutional conduct."

    - Robert Blackburn, King's College London, United Kingdom.

    "In Britain, impeachment is generally regarded as obsolete. Chris Monaghan seeks, however, to show that it can be a powerful weapon in strengthening governmental accountability. His book is both analytical and securely based on comparative evidence. It is also original and provocative and should be read by anyone interested in British government."

    - Vernon Bogdanor, King's College London, United Kingdom.