The Putney Debates 2020

Our First Free Series of Online Webinar Debates

30 September18 November 2020

A screen near you, culminating in a 'lockdown allowing' final Debate at Divinity School, Oxford

Join us for our first ever series of online debates on the subject of parliamentary sovereignty, hosted by the UK's leading legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg. Each week from September, we will release a video featuring the views of our expert commentators on different aspects of parliamentary sovereignty, followed by a live, public webinar debate on the issues raised.

Register today to secure your place.


Vernon Bogdanor
Vernon Bogdanor
Professor of Government, Institute of Contemporary British History, KCL
Joshua Rozenberg
Joshua Rozenberg
Putney Debate chairperson and legal commentator
Sir Stephen Sedley
Sir Stephen Sedley
Former Lord Justice of Appeal, and ad hoc judge of the ECtHR
Divinity School, Oxford
The Putney Debates 2020
Join us at historic Divinity School, Oxford — lockdown permitting!

The stunning 15th-century Gothic Divinity School in central Oxford is considered to be among the most impressive of all the University’s buildings, and boasts a rich history both within the University and as a seat of power during the time of the original Putney Debates in 1647.


Tony Benn
Every generation has to fight the same battle again & again: there is no destination called democracy. That’s the interest of the Putney Debates.
Watch Tony Benn on why the Putney Debates matter today

Stained Glass Window

Divinity School is entered via Catte Street, using the Great Gate, which provides direct access to the Old School Quadrangle and the Old Bodleian Library.

Once you reach the Old Schools Quadrangle, the Old Bodleian Library entrance faces west. Through the glass doors behind the statue, you can enter the Proscholium (the entrance hall to the Divinity School).

Oxford has great transport links by train, coach and car. 

Map: The Divinity School, Oxford OX1 3BG

Find out more about this historic venue and how to get here

The Putney Debates
Britain's constitutional origins
What were the Putney Debates?

Discover how a group of liberal radicals challenged the existing order through an extraordinary series of debates that paved the way for many of the civil liberties we value today.

Thomas Rainsborough
I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he.