Reforming the law of succession to peerages, baronetcies and dignities: identifying problems and exploring solutions

Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw (Lead / Corresponding author), Gillian Black (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The succession to titles in the UK remains wedded to the doctrines of primogeniture, legitimacy, and the genetic bloodline, privileging male children born within marriage. Over the last 40 years, there have been attempts to redress this through a series of Bills, which attempted to widen out the succession to titles, to include women, those conceived through assisted conception, and those born to unmarried parents. All attempts have (so far) failed. This article examines the Bills and the reasons they failed to progress. By drawing out the lessons that can be learned from these unsuccessful attempts, we seek to map out a way forward, to frame future reform successfully. We set out the issues that will need to be considered if succession rights are changed, to ensure that the current discriminatory provisions can be successfully tackled through future legislative measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-125
Number of pages22
JournalPublic Law
Volume2023
Issue number1
Early online date14 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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