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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Constitutional Reform Centre


Reference code(s): GB 0097 CRC

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Constitutional Reform Centre

Date(s): 1970-1992

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 29 box files

Name of creator(s): Constitutional Reform Centre


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Constitutional Reform Centre was founded in 1984 to investigate the reform of the British constitution and government. The work of the CRC is controlled by an advisory board, and includes holding conferences and commissioning investigations into areas of constitutional reform. These have included the role of planning enquiries, the development of a written constitution, the civil service, and the intervention of the European Commission. The Centre has also organised a series of seminars under the aegis of the Rt Hon Leslie George Scarman, Baron Scarman of Quatt. A working party has investigated company political donations and benefits to business of good government. Publications include the Constitutional Reform Quarterly Review and CRC Politics Briefings. The CRC has worked with other organisations, notably the National Committee for Electoral Reform, and the Campaign for Fair Votes.


Scope and content/abstract:

Working files of the Constitutional Reform Centre, 1970-1992, comprising general files, 1970-1991, organised by project, on the Bill of Human Rights, the Civil Service, the David Harlech Democracy Prize (a video-making competition for 16-23 year olds), the Europe and European Convention on Human Rights, the 'Good Government, Better Business' campaign, legal system reform, proportional representation in local government, local government relations with central government, and opinion polls; material relating to conferences and seminars, 1984-1992, on subjects including the European Convention on Human Rights, the conduct of elections, constitutional change, the abolition of the metropolitan authorities, major planning inquiries, and a written constitution; papers relating to work with the National Committee for Electoral Reform, 1976-1988, notably on the Campaign for Fair Votes in 1987, including correspondence with the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, press releases, questionnaires and leaflets; material relating to the CRC's Working Party on Company Donations, 1985-1987, including reports, minutes and working papers; printed material, 1978-1991, mainly on the British electoral system and proposals for its reform.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The papers are mainly organised by project.

Conditions governing access:

Open, though some confidential files remain closed. Apply to Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright retained by the donor and their heirs. No documents may be photocopied.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Printed handlist available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Given by the Constitutional Reform Centre in 1993.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The BLPES holds material relating to the Constitutional Reform Centre in the archives of the Liberal Party (Ref: Liberal Party/1/32).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science catalogue. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Oct 2000

Civil service | Central government | Public administration | Government
Constitutional law | Public law
Electoral systems | Internal politics
Legal systems | Law | Law
Local government | Public administration | Government
Politics | Political science
Human rights

Personal names

Corporate names
Campaign for Fair Votes
Conservative Party
Constitutional Reform Centre
EEC | European Economic Community x European Economic Community
Labour Party
National Committee for Electoral Reform

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe