By James Strong
Abstract: This article asks whether Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to bypass the House of Commons and order military action in Syria in 2018 killed the UK’s nascent War Powers Convention, established most visibly when MPs vetoed an essentially similar operation under Prime Minister David Cameron in 2013. It finds that the War Powers Convention survives, but in a weakened state, subject to new caveats that significantly narrow its scope. What happens next depends on the dynamic, unpredictable interaction between what future prime ministers believe, what strategic questions arise and what MPs will accept.
The article can be read at https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsab001
James Strong has also blogged about the article here: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/mei/news-and-opinion/items/how-not-to-kill-a-constitutional-convention-theresa-mays-intervention-in-syria-april-2018–dr-james-strong.html and here: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/uk-intervention-in-syria-votes-parliament/.