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Lord Chancellor to deliver keynote address at all-party launch of new LSE constitutional reform project

In what will be his first major speech since taking on leadership of constitutional reform, the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw, will deliver a keynote address at LSE on Wednesday 18 July.

Mr Straw will be speaking at the launch of the LSE's Future Britain project, a two-year initiative to explore the best and most appropriate processes for constitutional reform in the UK.

The all-party launch will also hear addresses from the minister with responsibility for constitutional renewal, Michael Wills, shadow attorney general Dominic Grieve, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg and the Hon Justice Robert Sharpe of the Ontario Court of Appeal,

The Future Britain launch will also involve people from organisations that have been working to create the basis for constitutional reform. These include Roger Smith, director of JUSTICE, Professor Robert Hazell, director of the UCL Constitution Unit, Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty and Peter Facey, director of Unlock Democracy (formerly Charter 88).

Director of the Future Britain project is Simon Davies, a visiting fellow of LSE's Information Systems and Innovation Group. He said: 'This is a crucial moment for constitutional reform in Britain. All parties seem willing to go the extra mile to improve the governance of the UK. We are hopeful that the launch of Future Britain will be an opportunity for all the key players to demonstrate their willingness to work cooperatively to achieve meaningful and celebrated reform.'

For more about the project and 18 July programme details, see the Future Britain website at www.futurebritain.org|

The Future Britain launch will be Wednesday 18 July at 2pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A. Registration required. Please RSVP to Simon Davies, s.g.davies@lse.ac.uk| 


Contact Simon Davies, Future Britain project, on s.g.davies@lse.ac.uk|

To confirm press attendance at the launch, please RSVP to Jess Winterstein, Press Office, on j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk|, 020 7955 7060.


Future Britain is a project established LSE's new Policy Engagement Network (PEN). Supported by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, PEN was established to generate projects and activities that assist the evolution of significant policy initiatives. PEN's recent and ongoing areas of activity include engaging with the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, working with the US Federal Trade Commission, and research funded by the Federal Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

PEN is housed within LSE's Department of Management, is financially administered by the Information Systems and Innovation Group, and is co-directed by Simon Davies and Dr Gus Hosein, both of whom have for many years been closely involved both in policy analysis and civil liberties. The project will be led by LSE visiting fellow Simon Davies, who was also formerly a visiting fellow in law in the University of Essex.

The Future Britain project was created with the intention of providing input to the diverse work being undertaken across Britain on the potential for constitutional reform, and in particular efforts to explore the potential for the strengthening of rights and freedoms. The project aims to help inform public discussion and engagement and is primarily concerned with exploring process, centring on approaches to discourse, deliberation, decision, design and delivery of possible reform. The project will not attempt to produce a specific model or framework for reform. It will serve only to offer insights into the process options that might be considered in developing specific elements of reform. See www.futurebritain.org| 

11 July  2007