I've just been flicking through the Governments Green Paper called ‘Rights and Responsibilities: developing our constitutional framework’ (opens pdf). The Government wants to engage the public in an open debate on rights and responsibilities. I've no idea of how productive it would be but I do hope some of our Cornish campaigners and constitutionalists respond.
No mention of collective rights for national minorities in the Green Paper. Found this diamond though.
Today, our constitution is a rich fabric of statute, common law and convention and our fundamental rights and freedoms are embedded throughout it. Inevitably these have been shaped by the beliefs and perspectives of the times in which they were created and new demands continually arise to create new challenges.
Shaped by a need to protect the Duchy of Cornwall and its profits from the nosey? Shaped by a need to ensure the assimilation of the Celtic peoples of these isles? I don't see this 'rich fabric' as having done much for the Cornish and Welsh.
I suspect that the Duchy along with the rest of the Monarchy will breeze past this debate as simply not being on the table for discussion.
In the same light when the Green Papers talks of equality......
The principle of equality before the law has a long history in the UK. The principles of equality and non-discrimination have long been recognised in the common law and protected through a range of statutes through which the UK also complies with its international obligations. There is the additional protection of Article 14 of the European Convention, which provides a right to non-discrimination in the enjoyment of other Convention rights.
......they are quick to add "there are justifiable exceptions to the principle that all should be treated alike". Like feudal Duchies along with their Ducal profits no doubt.
That being said the paper still has some saving graces and the talk of environmental and economic rights has to be welcomed. The contact details are below. I hope people respond.
Ministry of Justice
Governance of Britain
Email: Rights and Responsibilities