Skip to main content
School of Law

The impact of Brexit on the treaty-making power in the UK

The School of Law hosted an event with Dr Mario Mendez on 'The impact of Brexit on the treaty-making power in the UK'.

In this alumni series seminar he talked about a current strand of his research on the treaty-making power in the UK. This has gone from being an esoteric subject largely and, he argues, inappropriately ignored by both legal scholars and parliament to rightly taking centre stage. This rise to prominence began with the Miller ruling requiring Parliamentary authorisation to trigger the Article 50 procedure for withdrawing from the European Union. Brexit revealed the cosmetic nature of the treaty-making controls in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. Repatriation of the treaty-making power following EU departure, combined with the need to scrutinise ‘continuity agreements’, was the driver for several parliamentary inquiries that led to establishing a parliamentary treaties scrutiny committee in the House of Lords in 2020. This new committee is arguably the most practically significant change relating to the treaty-making power that has ever occurred. While Brexit has led to Parliament, and legal scholars, belatedly discovering the constitutional significance of the treaty-making power, it is precisely because of this significance that even stronger parliamentary controls are warranted.

About the speaker

Mario Mendez is a Reader in Law at Queen Mary and chairs the alumni seminar series. He is a graduate of the Law and Politics programme at QMUL and was awarded the Drapers’ Scholarship to study at the College of William and Mary in Virginia where he completed an LLM. He continued his graduate study at the University of Oxford (BCL), followed by completing his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence. He is the author of The Legal Effects of EU Agreements: Maximalist Treaty Enforcement and Judicial Avoidance Techniques, Oxford University Press 2013 and co-author of Referendums and the European Union: A Comparative Inquiry, Cambridge University Press 2014. His research has been published in leading law and political science journals including the Law Quarterly Review, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the European Journal of International Law, the Common Market Law Review, Public Law, Publius, the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies.

Back to top