Constitutional Reform Centre

Scope and Content

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.

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.


The papers are mainly organised by project.

Access Information

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

Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist available.

Archivist's Note

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

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

Given by the Constitutional Reform Centre in 1993.

Related Material

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

Geographical Names