Click on the questions below to find out all you need to know about this year's Oxford Putney Debates

The first event in the 2020 Oxford Putney Debates series is a Keynote Lecture given by Professor Michael Gordon of Liverpool University. This will be livestreamed on Zoom and Facebook at 16:00 British Summertime on Wednesday 21st October 2020.

Register for the interactive Zoom event, and the whole 2020 Oxford Putney Debates series, at: bit.ly/OxPutney

In previous years, the Debates have taken place over two days in St Mary’s Church, Putney – the location of the original Debates in 1647. Coronavirus has meant we’ve had to revise this format and move the Debates online as Zoom webinars.

This year, our panellists will pre-record their opening arguments, which we'll release as a series of Panellist Propositions videos that will be available to watch a week before each Zoom debate. Make sure you Register for the Debates to receive emails alerting you to the release of these videos.

You will then be able to watch the Panellist Propositions in your own time before tuning in to the live Zoom webinar to take part in each one-hour long debate, chaired by either Joshua Rozenberg or Professor Denis Galligan, and livestreamed on Facebook.

Zoom is a free-to-use online video conferencing tool that allows users to meet online, with or without video. 

Find out more about Zoom and how to attend a Zoom webinar 

No. The name that you entered into the Zoom registration form will appear, but you as an attendee will not appear on the video, only the Chair and Panellists.

Yes! We encourage all attendees to take part by clicking on the Q&A button at the bottom of the screen and typing your question at any time.

The Chair will put as many questions as possible to the Panellists, but won't be able to address every question.

Top Tip: To stand the best chance of having your question answered, keep it short and punchy!

Yes. You’ll be able to catch up on the lecture, pre-recorded materials, and debates via the FLJS Video page, and our Facebook and YouTube channels.

No. You just need to register once and you will automatically be signed up for all events in the 2020 Oxford Putney Debates series.

There will be a total of five events. The dates, all Wednesdays at 16:00 (UK time), are as follows:


21st October – Introduction and Keynote Lecture: The Future of Parliamentary Sovereignty in a Democratic Constitution

28th October – Debate 1: Parliamentary Sovereignty: History and People

4th November – Debate 2: Parliamentary Sovereignty: Executive, Civil Service, Special Advisers, Political Parties and the future

11th November – Debate 3: Parliamentary Sovereignty: Courts, Rights, and the International Order

18th November – Final Panel Debate: Parliamentary Sovereignty in Perspective


Please note: the UK moves from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time on 25th October.

Once you are registered, you will receive a reminder email 1 day and 1 hour before the event starts, so you can set aside the time and get prepared to tune in, ready for the start time of 4pm BST.

Pre-recorded Panellist Propositions videos will be released on the FLJS video channel a week before the relevant debate, following the below schedule:

First Debate: Parliamentary Sovereignty: History and People – presentations released on 21st October

Second Debate: Parliamentary Sovereignty: Executive, Civil Service, Special Advisers, Political Parties and the future – presentations released on 28th October

Third Debate: Parliamentary Sovereignty: Courts, Rights, and the International Order – presentations released on 4th November

When you’ve watched the pre-recorded presentations, you are very welcome to submit a question to the Chairman of each debate by emailing info@fljs.org.

Alternatively, you can select the Q&A option during the Zoom discussion. We cannot guarantee that your question or comment is selected, but the chairmen will select those they feel contribute best to the discussion within the time available.

The Debates are organized by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, an independent charity affiliated with Wolfson College and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford.