Pravar Petkar (MA (Cantab) LLM)

Thesis title: Situating the People: The Place of Constituent Power in the UK Constitution


I completed my undergraduate studies at Clare College, University of Cambridge, graduating from the Law Tripos in 2018 (with First Class). I then went on to study the LLM at the London School of Economics and Political Science, with a primary focus on public law, public law theory and human rights. I joined the Law School at the University of Edinburgh in September 2020 as a doctoral researcher.

My thesis examines the role of the people in the UK's political constitution through the concepts of constitutional legitimacy, constituent power and the constitutional imaginary, using the practice of referendums and the UK's devolution settlements as reference points. I am a recipient of the Modern Law Review Scholarship for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years, through which this research has been funded.








LLM in Public Law, LSE, 2019

MA (Cantab) Law Tripos, University of Cambridge, 2018








Responsibilities & affiliations

Assistant Editor, IACL-AIDC Blog (Sep 2021-present)

Centre Secretary, Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (Feb 2021-Sep 2023)









Undergraduate teaching

Lecturer for Public Law and Individual Rights (Ordinary), 2022-23 and 2023-24

I have been an Ordinary Course Tutor since January 2022. I currently teach Public Law of the UK & Scotland and have previously taught EU Law and Jurisprudence in addition.








Postgraduate teaching









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Research summary

My research interests are in UK constitutional law and constitutional theory, with a specific focus on constituent power, sovereignty and territorial pluralism.








Current research interests

My PhD research explores the role of constituent power in the UK's political constitution and specifically, the extent to which constituent power generates political constitutional constraints on the exercise of the UK Parliament's legislative authority. It addresses this issue with reference to ideas of constitutional legitimacy, including the work of British philosopher Bernard Williams, the concept of the constitutional imaginary and the theory of relational sovereignty.

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Conference details

I have presented aspects of my PhD research in both domestic and more international settings and am keen to share my work in other forums focused on UK constitutional law or constitutional theory. I was also one of the co-convenors of the Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference 2022, which brought Postgraduate Researchers from across the world together in Edinburgh and online on 16-17 June 2022 to share their research. 








Invited speaker










Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference 2022, 'Back to the Future: The Law  in an Age of Uncertainty' (16-17 June 2022)









Law and the Ties that Bind, University of Edinburgh (27-28 April 2023)

Constitutions in a Changing World: Implications for the Theory and Practice of Constitutional Transitions, University of Edinburgh (2-4 March 2022)

ICON-S Mundo (6-9 July 2021, online)

Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference 2021 (19-20 April 2021, online)

The Global Summit (12-16 January 2021, online)








Papers delivered

'The 2016 EU Referendum: An Insuperable Challenge for the UK Constitution’, Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference 2023, University of Edinburgh (30-31 May 2023) - poster presentation

'The Best of Both Worlds: Fusing Theory and Practice in Public Law Teaching at Times of Constitutional Upheaval’, Reimagining Public Law Workshop, University of Birmingham (24 May 2023)

‘Rethinking Parliamentary Sovereignty: The Challenge of Change in Constitutional Theory’, Law and the Challenges of Change: KU Leuven Exchange Visit, University of Edinburgh (26 Apr 2023)

‘There and Back (to Dicey) Again? Parliamentary Sovereignty Under Scotland’s Devolution Settlement’, Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, Ulster University (4-6 April 2023)

When is a Referendum Not a Referendum?’, New and Emerging Voices in Constitutional Law, University College Dublin (23-24 March 2023)









In the press









Pravar Petkar, 'Cracking a Nut with a Sledgehammer: The Lord Advocate’s Reference on a Second Scottish Independence Referendum in Constitutional Context' (2023) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, forthcoming

Pravar Petkar, 'A Second Scottish Independence Referendum and Schrodinger's Sub-State Constituent Power' (IACL-AIDC Blog, 29 November 2022)

Pravar Petkar, 'Consultative Referendums and Constituent Power in the UK' (UK Const L Blog, 5 July 2022)

Pravar Petkar, Book Review: Rubinelli, Lucia,  Constituent Power: A History,  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,  2020, x + 255 pp, hb £75.00  Colón-Ríos, Joel,  Constituent Power and the Law,  Oxford: Oxford University Press,  2020, 352 pp, hb £80.00 (2021) 84(5) Modern Law Review 1171-1179

Pravar Petkar, Will of the people vs democracy: Brexiteers are turning into their own worst enemy (LSE Brexit Blog, 30 September 2019)