TCC Conference – Ruling Britannia: Magna Carta to Digital Democracy

Stuart Weir, 2015 Jan 19
Call *that* a constitution?

We are combining with Unlock Democracy, the national organisation for democratic change, to hold a major conference in March on the state of democracy in Britain. We will publish the date and location as soon as they are confirmed.

800th anniversary celebrations of Magna Carta seem a self-congratulatory and complacent exercise; anathema to the critical and challenging spirit of a healthy democracy. This conference aims to combat this complacency. It will draw upon the key principles developed from Magna Carta about the rule of law and democratic governance. It will use these principles to evaluate the current state of democracy and human rights in the United Kingdom and it will offer standards of reform fit for the digital age.

As Cambridge is the UK’s “Silicon City” and a centre for leading practitioners and thinkers of digital advance, we believe it is an appropriate place to advance thinking on democracy into the digital future. We believe in the urgent need for both a constitutional convention on devolution and a constitution.

The conference will be accompanied by a written declaration from Unlock Democracy on the state of democracy in the United Kingdom which argues that we are in the midst of a political and structural crisis; that massive and growing inequality is destroying both our society and our economy.

The inspiration for this constitutional convention is a recent Icelandic experiment. This offered a redrafting of its constitution for inclusivity by combining conventional and digital participation. In 2013, Iceland came close to passing into law the world’s most inclusively and transparently written constitutional text, the ‘crowd-sourced constitution’.

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