HISTORY & HERITAGE PUBLIC LECTURES: 12 December 2018

The Manx Constitution: a constitutional anomaly?

William Cain

Time and place to be confirmed

The Manx Constitution has sometimes been described as an anomaly, which may be defined as a deviation from the natural order, an untidy accident of history ripe to be swept away. In this lecture it will be argued that the Constitution is the product of the rational decisions of the rulers of the Isle of Man over many centuries, based on the Island’s geography, history and law.

The independent status of the Island as a Viking Kingdom, then a feudal Lordship and then as a Crown Dependency, will be discussed, with particular reference to the critical moments in Manx history, including the first Act of Tynwald to receive Royal Assent by the Crown in 1776. The role of the Westminster Parliament, and the evolution of the Viking era Tynwald into a modern bicameral legislature, will be traced, as will the emergence in the twentieth century of a representative executive government responsible to Tynwald.

Finally, it will be argued that the modern democratic Manx government, rather than being an anomaly, is part of the emerging pattern of governance of the British Isles.

The Manx Law Reports
The Manx Law Reports