This is encouraging
Fr. Lombardi’s confirmation that Pope Benedict is considering the publication of a Motu Proprio on a few points in the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (1996)—especially UDG 37 treating when the conclave may open—is very encouraging. Advancing the conclave start-date would make obvious good sense, but actually doing so on anything less than express papal authority raises serious canonical and even ecclesiological problems. Far better, I think, for the pope to take this matter in hand, as it appears he plans to do, and either set an earlier start-date himself or expressly allow other(s) to do so. Either way would, I think, work canonically and ecclesiologically; any other way is fraught with complications.
Another report here.